January 2

Know Who We Are, Part 2

John 13:3-5 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, 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.

If we are born again, we are “in Christ.” That’s a truth beyond our comprehension, but it’s filled with realities, gifts and a new identity that we’ll be considering for the rest of our lives. Our being in Christ in terms of John 13 is a case in point. If Jesus performed the culture’s lowliest service at the moment of His greatest awareness of His own divine/human self, and of the glory that awaited Him, what does that say about the best fruit of a real self-awareness?

If we’re in Christ, then we have the same Spirit working in us that led Jesus to serve at that moment. We also have the same God who leads His sons and daughters to serve others, based on knowing who we are. If we’re in Christ, God is leading us to the same understandings Jesus has in John 13: We know where we’ve come from (we were all fallen creatures in desperate need of forgiveness). We know where we are going (here and now, into the image of Christ; later, into His presence). We also know that there are as-yet-unknowable joys awaiting us (I Corinthians 2:9: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”).

If we have a hard time getting low or doing the most menial thing for others, perhaps we have an identity issue. Maybe we find it hard to serve because we don’t really know who we are. Perhaps we have forgotten where we’ve come from spiritually, or what incredible mercies we’ve received, or who we really are in Him, and the glories and joys that await us. Or perhaps we know all that, but have spun that into either serving ourselves or simply failing to serve others. In either case, it’s worth meditating on the fact that the central Person of the universe, at His highest moment of earthly self-awareness, bent as low as possible to serve.

Prayer: Lord, help me to see the connection between knowing who I am in You, and serving others—and then direct my actions accordingly. As I continue to discover who I am in You, help me to become more focused on others.

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