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Jun 02nd
Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. April 9, 2009 - Thursday Meditation (Love When Betrayed?)
April 9, 2009 - Thursday Meditation (Love When Betrayed?) PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - The Daily B.R.E.A.D.
Friday, 10 April 2009 15:01
J esus knew he would be betrayed by one of them and that the rest would abandon him through disloyalty. Such knowledge could have easily led to bitterness or hatred. Jesus met the injury of betrayal and disloyalty with the greatest humility and supreme love.

John 13:1-15
  Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. (2) And during supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, (3) Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, (4) rose from supper, laid aside his garments, and girded himself with a towel. (5) Then he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded. (6) He came to Simon Peter; and Peter said to him, "Lord, do you wash my feet?" (7) Jesus answered him, "What I am doing you do not know now, but afterward you will understand." (8) Peter said to him, "You shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part in me." (9) Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!" (10) Jesus said to him, "He who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but he is clean all over; and you are clean, but not every one of you." (11) For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, "You are not all clean." (12) When he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and resumed his place, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? (13) You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. (14) If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. (15) For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.

Old Testament Reading: Exodus 12:1-8,11-14

(11) In this manner you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste.  It is the LORD's passover. (12) For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. (14) "This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you shall observe it as an ordinance for ever.

Meditation by Don Schwager:
D oes your love waver when you encounter bitter disappointments and injury from others? As Jesus' hour of humiliation draws near he reveals to his disciples the supreme humility which shaped the love he had for them. He stoops to perform a menial task reserved for servants - the washing of smelly, dirty feet. In stooping to serve his disciples Jesus knew he would be betrayed by one of them and that the rest would abandon him through disloyalty. Such knowledge could have easily led to bitterness or hatred. Jesus met the injury of betrayal and disloyalty with the greatest humility and supreme love. Jesus loved his disciples to the very end, even when they failed him and forsook him. The Lord loves each of us unconditionally. His love has power to set us free to serve others with Christ-like compassion and humility. Does the love of Christ rule in your heart, thoughts, intentions and actions?

Saint Augustine in his sermon for this day, wrote: "He had the power of laying down his life; we by contrast cannot choose the length of our lives, and we die even if it is against our will. He, by dying, destroyed death in himself; we are freed from death only in his death. His body did not see corruption; our body will see corruption and only then be clothed through him in incorruption at the end of the world. He needed no help from us in saving us; without him we can do nothing. He gave himself to us as the vine to the branches; apart from him we cannot have life.
Finally, even if brothers die for brothers, yet no martyr by shedding his blood brings forgiveness for the sins of his brothers, as Christ brought forgiveness to us. In this he gave us, not an example to imitate but a reason for rejoicing. Inasmuch, then, as they shed their blood for their brothers, the martyrs provided "the same kind of meal" as they had received at the Lord's table.   Let us then love one another as Christ also loved us and gave himself up for us."

"Lord Jesus, your love conquers all and never fails. Help me to love others freely, with heart-felt compassion , kindness and goodness. Where there is injury, may I sow peace rather than strife."

Supplementary Reading
The Interests of Others by Os Hillman

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. ~ Philippians 2:4

One of the walls of Christianity that has existed for centuries is the attitude of many "full-time" Christian workers and workplace believers. Often pastors, missionaries, and other "full timers" (I put this in quotes since all of us should consider ourselves full time) see workplace believers as a dollar sign. They see them as the instrument to fund their next project or provide the support they need. This wrong view toward workplace believers encourages them to harden their hearts toward legitimate projects. It creates a vicious cycle in which satan robs both servants of God of the blessing of each other's gifts and talents. 
I once attended an international conference in which workplace believers acknowledged having this attitude toward Christian workers. Christian workers asked for forgiveness for viewing those in business as objects for funding. There was a time of repentance and tears for the selfish attitude and callousness of both groups. Christian workplace believers have more to offer the Kingdom than their dollars, but this is often overlooked. 
Paul admonishes us to: 
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:3-5). 
If the God of the universe came as a humble servant, we in business must maintain our humble servant attitude toward those who have lesser means and are seeking to serve the Lord. God has entrusted many of us in business with greater resources. The test is to examine whether we are operating in vanity or Christ-like servanthood, looking out for the interests of others. 
Ask the Lord to provide the grace to consider each request that comes to you for assistance and to avoid becoming callous to these requests. This is one test from God that He brings to determine whether you will serve others before yourself. The true test of giving is when it has no benefit to yourself.  

PRAY as if everything depended on HIM. ACT as if everything depended on YOU.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 11 April 2009 14:09

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