Categories
Covid-19 Devotionals

Exceeding Expectations

When there is a marriage or an employment or a new friendship, there are expectations. With any new relationship, there are expectations that go something like this: “What do I expect from you? What will you put into this relationship?”

In a Zoom session with our children in Naperville outside of Chicago last Saturday, Roy said, “In the hotel industry, we have a motto which goes, ‘Exceed expectations’”. That motto has been floating around in my mind over the last two days … exceed expectations.

I am certain you are very aware that, in general, we live at a time where most people, in our families, churches, places of employment, neighbourhood, etc. are self-centered and selfish. It is not “what I can put into this relationship, but what I can get out of this relationship”. Often, people are so caught up in their “selfness” that this attitude is not noticed … it’s like so many other sins–both a voluntary and an involuntary action. Very few people tend to look out for other. It tends to be “I, me, my” all the time.

Our Lord Jesus set before us a great example of being other-people-focused that tends to imply: “When it comes to other people [relationships], exceed their expectations of the relationship”.

Jn 13:1 It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.

2 The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

10 Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not everyone was clean.

12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Jesus is the God-Man. He left His glorious Heaven, coming on a specific mission to planet Earth to save rebellious people from their sin and eternal damnation. Soon before His substitutional sacrificial death, He enjoyed a meal with His disciples … but before that, He took the role of the lowest servant (the word sometimes translated as “slave”, from the Greek word doulos). It was customary to wash feet before entering a home. The lowest servant would be at the door to wash the feet of guests. This had not been done on arrival (maybe by design), and so Jesus takes this position as feet washer.

Not verse 1b … Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love:

12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

I am sure you got the message. It’s not about us literally washing each other’s feet but all about us being each other’s servant. Jesus was teaching servanthood. When we adopt this attitude, we will not be selfish and self-centered. Rather, as servants, we will want to exceed all expectations! We will want to be each other’s greatest servant in obedience to the teaching of our Lord and Master.

Dear God, forgive my sin of selfishness. Help me to serve other people by being a servant to those around me. Help me, Lord, to exceed all expectations of others as I serve You to serve others for Christ sake. Amen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.