You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13).
The Gospel of John shares an event in Jesus' ministry that reveals the heart of our message for ToGather:
It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end (John 13:1).
John's account of Jesus being "Lord of the Towel" and stooping to wash his disciples' feet is one of the most emotional and meaning-filled episodes in all Scripture. John had emphasized throughout Jesus' ministry that his time, his hour, had not yet come (John 2:4, 7:8, 30, 8:20). Now, at what we call "The Last Supper," Jesus knew his hour had come! The Lord knew he was leaving this earth and returning soon to the Father. Jesus knew that the agony of the cross was his immediate future. He had loved his rag-tag group of followers despite their faults and failures. He also knew the Father had placed all power in his hands (John 13:3). Now, Jesus was going to demonstrate the meaning of love by loving his disciples to the very end of his life and showing them the unparalleled extent of his love for them.
The one with all power, the one who had come from the Father, the one who had created the universe, the one who came to earth as God with us, now stooped to wash his disciples' dirty feet. The King of glory cleaned the smelly, dirty feet of his flawed followers. Jesus knew that those feet he washed belonged to men who would betray, deny, and abandon him. Because he loved them, he served them when they were unworthy. Then...
When [Jesus] 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. "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them (John 13:12-17).
Our message in ToGather comes from our Verse of the Day:
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love (Galatians 5:13).
You see, we were no better than Jesus' flawed and often clueless apostles before he saved us. When we were powerless, ungodly, sinners, and enemies of God, Jesus died for us (Romans 5:6-11). Jesus freed us from the power of sin, death, and hell because of his love for us. He now calls us to use the grace he has given us to bless others. We have been freed to serve and bless!
Demetrius' selection of songs focuses on this deliverance and new life God has given us by grace. Phil's message focuses on the theme, "Freed to Serve."
You will find Phil's video message on this verse and then the whole ToGather.church worship video below.
We hope you are blessed as we commit our lives to follow the "Lord of the Towel" as we follow Jesus' example and serve one another in love! As we open the Scriptures and worship in song, let's remember Jesus' promise to us:
Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them (John 13:17).
Special thanks for the use of images related to Jesus' ministry from The Lumo Project and Free Bible Images for use in both ToGather videos.
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