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Devotions > Love, Prayer, and Discipleship

26 Apr 2012



As  the apostle John and the Holy Spirit prepare to relate to us the washing of the Disciples feet and the deep sorrow of Jesus, formed in Him by the work of Satan in Judas, we read these words setting the context correctly for the disclosure of the heart and work of Jesus:

John 13:1 (AMP)
1 [NOW] BEFORE the Passover Feast began, Jesus knew (was fully aware) that the time had come for Him to leave this world and return to the Father. And as He had loved those who were His own in the world, He loved them to the last and to the highest degree. [ bold added ]

Notice how in this one verse we are given the exact time of these activities, Jesus’ awareness of the things which will straight away occur, and His deep and everlasting love for His disciples.   

One obvious focus of the washing of the disciple’s feet is the initial refusal of Peter to the whole idea of his Lord washing his feet [v 6].  Less obvious, but equally powerful, is the fact of the washing of Judas’ feet by the Lord Jesus while being fully aware of his planned betrayal soon to be executed.  

As we contemplate the washing of Judas’ feet it seems this act would set a high water mark for the agape love that Jesus showered on His disciples.   This is a demonstration of love that is accurately and completely unconditional!

We may think of Jesus washing His disciple’s feet as an act of servant leadership; or as an act of humility.  These ideas are without doubt factual; however, foundational to servant leadership and humility, foundational to making disciples, is the powerful inescapable force of agape love.

When the influential force of agape love is fully in place, washing feet in every sense of the word is wholly without difficulty or disdain.   In fact, when we are fully engaged and immersed in the captivating force of agape love, we cannot refuse to give in to the overwhelming desire to wash feet and serve our fellows from an overflowing heart.  

How can we move toward this place?    How can we love deeply and purely with agape love?   Again John gives some insight:

1 John 4:19 (NASB95)
19 We love, because He first loved us.

It seems to me that we must receive agape love.   It is my opinion that we, as mere mortals, do not have the capacity to birth agape love.    While there is evidence that we can receive it, to date I have found no evidence that we can, of our own power or will, bring it into being.   It seems that we have been designed to be reflectors or distributors of agape.   If this is true, then we must have our mirror turned in the direction of the Source.    We must have our receiving docks open if we hope to ship out from our distribution center.

John declares that he or they are in process of believing [receiving] and experiencing this agape love that likely has its exclusive origin in God: 

1 John 4:16 (AMP)
16 And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him.

What does John mean when he instructs us to dwell and continue in agape love?   Could this be a process whereby we continually receive agape love from our Father and distribute it to those to whom we are assigned in this world?

Think.  What would this world look like if every born-again believer would have this love, the quality and quantity of love that Jesus had for His disciples, for their wives, for their children, for their fellow workers, for their pastors and leaders?   What would happen to race relations if we would love as Jesus loves?

What kind of impact would the Church have on our culture if we were to each get into His love gear?  What kind of prayer would go up for our nation, for those unsaved among us, or for the unborn?

Friends, I am convinced that if we are to make disciples as Jesus commanded, we must do it from the platform, the unyielding foundation of agape love.    

Jeff Williams