Happiness: Jesus and the Disciples
When I started searching the Internet to see how the world defined happiness, it was quite interesting. Here are some quotes:
Let’s take a look at what Jesus says happiness is…
After washing their feet and picking up His garments, He reclined at the table again.
Jesus: Do you understand what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and truly, that is who I am. So if your Lord and Teacher washes your feet, then you should wash one another’s feet. I am your example; keep doing what I do. I tell you the truth: a servant is not greater than the master. Those who are sent are not greater than the one who sends them. If you know these things, and if you put them into practice, you will find happiness.
John 13:12-17 (VOICE)
John 13:17 is the key—“If you know these things, and if you put them into practice, you will find happiness.” The sequence is important:
- Holiness, and then
Self is like a drug addiction. It can never be satisfied. Regardless of how much you give self, it will always want more. The only way to really deal with self is to deny it and put others ahead of self (Philippians 2:3). That produces happiness. Happiness is the by-product of a life that is lived in the will of God. When we humbly serve others, walk in God’s paths of holiness, and do what He tells us, then we will enjoy happiness.
Jesus asked the disciples if they understood what He had done, and it is not likely that they did. So, He explained it: He had given them a lesson in humble service, an example for them to follow. The world thinks that happiness is the result of others serving us, but real joy comes when we serve others in the name of Christ. The world is constantly pursuing happiness, but that is like chasing a shadow: it is always just beyond your reach.
Jesus was their Master, so He had every right to command their service. Instead, He served them! He gave them an example of true Christian ministry. On more than one occasion during the previous three years, He had taught them lessons about humility and service; but now He had demonstrated the lesson to them. Perhaps the disciples remembered His lesson about the child (Matt. 18:1-6), or the rebuke He gave James and John when they asked for thrones (Matt. 20:20-28). Now it was all starting to fall into place.
The servant (slave) is not greater than his master, so, if the master becomes a slave where does that put the slave?
On the same level as the master! By becoming a servant, our Lord did not push us down: He lifted us up! He dignified sacrifice and service. You must keep in mind that the Romans had no use for humility, and the Greeks despised manual labor. Jesus combined these two when He washed the disciples’ feet.
The world asks,
“How many people work for you?”
but the Lord asks,
“For how many people do you work?”
How true it is that we need leaders who will serve and servants who will lead. G.K. Chesterton said that a really great man is one who makes others feel great, and Jesus did this with His disciples by teaching them to serve.
However, it is not enough just to know this truth; we must put it into practice. James 1:22-27 makes it clear that the blessing comes in the doing of the Word, not the hearing. Wuest translates the last phrase in James 1:25, “This man shall be prospered spiritually in his doing.” Even studying this section in John’s Gospel can stir us emotionally or enlighten us intellectually; but it cannot bless us spiritually until we do what Jesus told us to do. This is the only way to lasting happiness.
Be sure to keep these lessons in their proper sequence:
Submit to the Father, keep your life clean, and serve others. This is God’s formula for true spiritual joy.
DECLARATION OF FAITH
Jesus is my mentor and the Lord of my life. He has left me an example of the greatest servitude the world has ever known.
I will do as He did and wash the feet of my brothers and sisters in Christ [figuratively]. I will seek the real good and benefit of others through humble service. With a tender heart of compassion, I will take the time to do good to those around me. Through this generosity of service and willingness to give of myself to others, no matter how humbling the service may be, I store up for myself favor upon favor, and blessing upon blessing.
I pray this declaration of faith in Jesus’ name, Amen!
Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary
||Be Transformed (John 13-21), Repackaged
By David C. Cook
In the opening chapters of John’s Gospel, you see a group of men who were struggling with their faith and occasionally stumbling. But after Christ’s death and resurrection, things changed – because they became transformed by His power and His Word. In completing his study of John’s Gospel, Dr. Warren Wiersbe explains how you can become a transformed person. He answers such important questions as:
- How does the Holy Spirit work in my life?
- What are the secrets of answered prayer?
- Why is Christian fellowship so important?
- How can I overcome the pressures of the world?
Questions for personal reflection and group discussion are included at the end of each chapter.
||Complete Personalized Promise Bible: Every Promise in the Bible From Genesis to Revelation, Written Just for You – eBook
By James Riddle / Harrison House
In this age of moral relativism, you may find your belief in absolute truth challenged. Do you know your inheritance as a Christian? From Genesis through Revelation, this book walks you through every single promise from God, beautifully crafted in various Bible translations with heartfelt, personal prayer language. These will bless, encourage and instruct. Features cross-references, topical index, and ribbon marker. 912 pages, hardcover from Harrison House.