International Ministries

Surprised by service and sacrifice

July 28, 2008 Story


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Jesus comes to us in a surprising way -- as a servant. Even as Jesus prepares to celebrate passover with his disciples, he decides in an act of radical humility to wash the feet of his disciples. In the culture of Jesus' day, the disciples should have washed his feet! The roles were reversed. Not only did Jesus serve, but also he sacrificed.  The passover supper was a prelude to him giving his own life as a ransom so that we might be saved. In the service of missionaries in the Democratic Republic of Congo, surprises of service and sacrifice from God's people can still be experienced today!

Scripture: John 13: 1-15 (NRSV)


1 Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper 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 got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. 5 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. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, Lord, are you going to wash my feet? 7 Jesus answered, You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand. 8 Peter said to him, You will never wash my feet. Jesus answered, Unless I wash you, you have no share with me. 9
Simon Peter said to him,Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head! 10 Jesus said to him, One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you. 11 For he knew who was to betray him; for this
reason he said, Not all of you are clean.
12 After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, 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 that is what I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.


Click on the links below and enjoy a lesson and additional resources written by Lynn and Virgil Nelson, recently retired missionaries who served faithfully in the Democratic Republic of Congo.