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July 2, 2015

Text: “When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “‘Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’ feet. For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done to you.”  John 13:12-14

What an example is Jesus our Savior! All through his ministry his actions have been exemplary. His teachings have warranted the behavior that Jesus taught and encouraged. Now, here at the climax of his ministry, he is at last going to reveal to his apostles many shocking things.  Surely his apostles were astounded  when Jesus lays aside his position of Teacher and Lord and assumes the task of a slave doing a slave’s duty.  By accommodating himself to such a position he demonstrated how they should accommodate themselves to serve others, including all good acts of mercy and kindness upon all who need such benevolence.

Years later, speaking at the household of Cornelius, Peter related what he learned of Jesus’ example in his sojourn with the Master. He said, “…how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the Devil, for God was  with him.” Acts 10:30  Our Lord raised the dead, made the blind to see and the deaf to hear, remedied common ailments, unleashed the tongues of the mute, cleansed  lepers and many other wonders. When he sent the 12 apostles out on the limited commission he told them, “You received without paying; give without pay.” Matthew 10:8b   Jesus had power to do many good works far beyond our capacities to do the same. Needless to say, we have the abilities in us to meet the needs of others. But we can not refuse to others the blessings they need if they are in our endowments from God. “And let us not grow weary of doing good. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:9-10

As Jesus went about doing good he had a compassionate vision of the needy. This was followed by Jesus reaching out to alleviate their needs.  “When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” Matthew 14:14 On this day Jesus was attempting to get some rest. Instead, he was thronged by great crowds. Jesus sensed their hunger and miraculously fed them all from a supply of five loaves and two fish. When we see needs we must open our hearts and our hands. “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”‘ I John 3:17   “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17

To be sure, in doing good to others we are doing good to ourselves. You yourself are blessed when you bless others by helping palliate their discomforts. In the 1947 movie Angel and the Bad-man Quirt Evans (John Wayne) finds lodging with a Quaker family of farmers. But Quirt notices that their crops do poorly because a rancher has cut off the water supply. So he mounts up and goes to the ranch of Frederick Carson and persuades him to let the water flow to his neighbors. Then both of them return to the farmer’s house where the rancher is welcomed and given aid for his boil and plenty of baked goods from the farmer’s wife. As Carson mounts his horse to return home he says to Quirt, “I’m glad you made me do it. It makes me feel good.”  That good feeling is part of the reward of doing good. And time after time you get that feeling all over again.

Here’s our recap.

Follow the example of Jesus doing good.

Have compassionate vision.

As you do good to others accept the good feeling it gives you.

Then do it repeatedly.













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