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By Rev. Wayne Palmer

Lenten Devotion

TEXT: A dispute arose among them as to which of them
was to be regarded as the greatest (Luke 22:24).

Read John 13:1-19.

Here in the upper room is an amazing contrast. Jesus is
totally focused on His followers, but all they can think
about is themselves. While He is busy reaching out to
Judas, teaching each of them about His coming suffering
and death for our salvation, and giving them His own
body and blood in a new and wonderful testament, all
they can think about is their own honor, and which of
them should be considered greatest by others.

How often are we so preoccupied with our own honor
and glory, our reputation and well-being that we pass by
hurting people all around us?

In tomorrow's devotion we will read what Jesus said
about this dispute. But today we focus on the action He
took in response. As we just read in John's Gospel, Jesus
rose from the table without a word. He silently removed
His outer garment, wrapped Himself in a towel, then
stooped down and began to wash each of their feet like
the lowliest household servant. Peter almost prevented
Jesus from washing His feet because it seemed so
beneath Him.

But Jesus insists. And He teaches them this is not the time
for quarreling and arguing about our importance and our
fame. It's time to focus on the people around us who need
our encouragement, support and attention. More
importantly, it's time to focus on Jesus: to contemplate His
astonishing love and the tremendous sacrifice He is freely
making for us and all people.


Lord Jesus, whenever I start to compare myself to others
and promote my own recognition and glory, please stop
me in my tracks. Remind me that You came as our Servant,
submitting like a slave, and now that You have saved me,
may I truly serve others in Your Name. Amen.

(Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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