Walking in the Way of the Beatitudes

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The only PURE, authentic walk came from a man from Nazareth. A poor carpenter. A man baptized by John. A man who spent 40 days in the wilderness fasting. A man who was tempted as we are—and more. A man who preached with authority. A man who touched lepers, healed the blind, gave song to the deaf, raised the dead, fed 5,000, walked on water, commanded the storm to be still, a man who was crucified, buried, and rose from the dead. Jesus.

The Holy Servant

One night, Jesus did something remarkable. Some think this was the night before the Passover; others think it was during the Passover.

When the Israelites ate a meal, they sat at U-shaped low tables, about the height of coffee tables. They rested on their left arms, leaning on pillows, eating with their right hands, and positioning their legs behind them.

Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself. John 13:1-4

I wonder if He was thinking about the time in heaven that He laid aside His garments of glory to take on the humble clothing of a baby on earth. 

Then He poured water into the basin John 13:5

Was He thinking of His blood being poured out in a few hours to cleanse you and me?

and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 

What could Jesus be thinking as He tenderly picked up the dirty feet of Thomas? Was He thinking ahead at Thomas’ reaction when the disciples would tell him that Jesus was alive?

As He held the feet of John, the Beloved, and dipped them in the basin, was Jesus seeing John boiled in oil? Or in heaven receiving the Revelation of what was to come?

I wonder what He was thinking as He washed the feet of Andrew. Was He remembering how Andrew brought Peter to Him?

Peter may have watched Jesus wash each of the eleven other disciples’ feet in horror. This was a job for the lowest servant, and here was the Son of God—washing dirty feet!

So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” Peter said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, John 13:6-10

The Israelites bathed before they ate meals together. When they got to the host’s home, their feet were dirty. Just their feet needed washing.

I wonder if Jesus smiled and remembered Peter walking on water, turning his eyes on the storm, sinking, and crying “Save me!”

I imagine Jesus continuing His conversation

and you are clean, but not all of you.”  For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.” John 13:10-11

Yes, He washed Judas’ feet. As Jesus washed Judas’ feet, I wonder if He was thinking of the Sermon on the Mount when He said, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).

Or was He thinking, “Judas, I love you”?

Washing Mama

When Mama was dying, a nurse bathed Mama. Bathing dying people was what this woman did every day, several times a day. She talked to Mama in very soothing tones and told her everything that she was going to do before she did it. Her gentle and slow movements exuded love. She started with Mama’s hair; soaking a wash cloth with warm sudsy water, she gently stroked Mama’s hair. Then, she lifted Mama’s head ever so slightly to rinse her hair and pat it dry, all the while talking to her in a soft voice, telling her about the beautiful day. She moved to her hands and lifted them to wash her arm, hands, and fingers—one finger at a time, gently drying them as she went. She made sure that she positioned Mama comfortably among all the pillows that were supporting her fragile body.

This woman had a servant’s heart, and she loved what she was doing.

I wondered why Mama lingered so long.

Perhaps it was for this woman. Perhaps it was for me to see the gentleness and lovingkindness this woman showed to my Mama.

Perhaps it was for the other loving nurses.

Perhaps it was to demonstrate how Jesus may have washed the feet of Judas, John, James and Simon Peter.

Why Jesus washed their feet

Jesus took up His garments and reclined at the table again

I wonder, as Jesus took up His garments, if He was thinking of a time very soon to come when He would take up His garments of glory and honor, put them on and sit at the right hand of God.

He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. John 13:12-17

Jesus said that He came to earth for service. He came teaching, healing, making people’s lives better, paying the price for our sins, and claiming victory over death for us all. Authentic service. In Acts 4:30, Paul calls Jesus “Your holy servant.”

Matthew Henry writes of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples:

He knew that he was equal with God, and all things were his; and yet he rose from his table in glory, laid aside his robes of light, girded himself with our nature, took upon him the form of a servant, came not to be ministered to, but to minister, poured out his blood, poured out his soul unto death, and thereby prepared a laver to wash us from our sins.

The Authentic Christian Woman

How do we apply authentic walking to our lives?

The authentic Christian woman acknowledges the holiness of God and worships Him.

The authentic Christian woman surrenders her plans, her body, her dreams, and her hopes to God.

The authentic Christian woman walks as Jesus did, as a servant.

The authentic Christian woman is blessed. She’s a Beatitudes woman.

She regards herself as lowly and unworthy of honor. Jesus says that she is blessed, and hers will be the kingdom of heaven.

  • Jesus took the role of the lowliest servant as He washed Judas’ feet and the feet of all the other disciples. Jesus sits at the right hand of God today.

She mourns because of her sin, and she will be comforted.

  • Jesus wept because Jerusalem did not recognize the hour of her visitation. Jesus rejoices in the righteous robes He will give His bride.

She is gentle or meek, and she will inherit the earth.

  • Jesus humbled Himself and laid aside His glory to become a baby of a poor carpenter. For you. For me. Jesus will redeem the earth.

She hungers and thirsts for righteousness; she will be satisfied.

  • Jesus fasted for 40 days after He was baptized. 40 days alone with God before His ministry. He is the bread of life.

She is merciful or compassionate, and she will receive mercy.

  • Jesus told the woman who was caught in adultery that He did not condemn her. He told her to go and sin no more. Jesus bestows mercy.

She is pure in heart (cleansed by fire), and she will see God.

  • Jesus knew no sin. Yet, He voluntarily took your sin, my sin, all the sins of the past, and all the sins of the future upon Himself. Jesus will see us in the likeness of Himself. He will see us looking into His eyes and living with Him eternally.

She is a peacemaker, and she will be called the daughter of God.

  • Jesus gave His life for our peace with God. He is the Son of God, the firstborn, our Savior.

She is persecuted for the sake of righteousness, and she will inherit the kingdom of God.

  • Jesus endured the cat-of-nine-tails, the beatings, the crown of thorns, and the cross. His inheritance is the kingdom of God.

She receives insults and persecution, and false things are said about her because of Jesus.

  • Jesus was accused of blasphemy. He was accused of not knowing who His father was. He was accused of casting out demons from the power of the devil.

She rejoices because her reward is great in heaven.

  • Jesus endured the agony of the cross for the joy set before Him. His reward in heaven is the Bride of Christ—the church—you and me!

The authentic Christian woman lives by the Beatitudes found in Matthew 5.

It starts with the love of Jesus; it continues with the salvation of Jesus; it is possible by the power of Jesus.

Are you a Beatitudes woman?

My prayer

Father, thank You for Jesus and His great love, His great service, His great sacrifice, and His great victory. Bless us with ever-increasing knowledge and wisdom of what it means to walk in the way of the Beatitudes. We began in the love of Jesus from the foundation of the world, we were born again through the salvation Jesus offers, and we live in the power of Christ in us. Take us deeper, Lord. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

Please share this post with others who may be interested in walking the Beatitudes walk.

Are you waiting on the Lord?

Eagle small
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:28-31
To wait for the LORD, Yahweh, means to look for expectantly, to lie in wait. It’s an active waiting.
Throughout the Bible, followers of God waited upon Him to act.
Joshua and his warriors walked around the walls of Jericho for seven days. They stared at the problem, the walls and the soldiers watching them from atop the walls. They walked in silence and waited upon the Lord. The seventh time around the walls on the seventh day, God acted, and the walls tumbled down.
Joseph waited upon the Lord in the pit, in Potiphar’s house, in the prison, and in the palace. God brought Joseph’s family to him and saved a country, in His time.
The disciples waited in an upper room for the power of the Holy Spirit. Fifty days after Jesus rose, the Holy Spirit rested upon the disciples, and 3,000 souls were saved.
Waiting upon the LORD produces results we cannot accomplish in our own might. We gain new strength; we soar above our problems; we run as Elijah ran without fatigue; and we walk through the valley of the shadow of death and do not become weary.
Are you waiting upon the LORD? What are you expecting?

My prayer:

Father, thank You for Your promise of renewed strength if we wait upon You. Give us Your strength, Your endurance, Your grace. Empower us to soar above our problems to touch Your glory.

Has Jesus told you to do the impossible?

Pastor Chuck Israel

Overlooking the Sea of Galilee as Pastor Chuck Smith teaches from the Sermon on the Mount Scripture.

When Jesus found out that John the Baptist had been beheaded, He withdrew to be alone. However, the crowds followed Him. He looked at the crowds and had compassion on them and healed their sick.

Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” Matthew 14:15-16

“We have only five loaves here and two fish.”

Three questions about the disciples’ choices

  1. They told Jesus what He should do. Jesus was the Teacher. He was the Healer. Did Jesus need instruction?
  2. They scanned the crowd for food before they went to Jesus. Did they know the nature of Jesus would not allow Him to send the people away hungry?
  3. They responded in weakness, only five small loaves of bread and two small fish. Was anything impossible for Jesus?

Jesus’ compassion

And He said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. Matthew 14:18-21

Jesus chose to take the little food that the disciples had found, bless it, break it, multiply it, and give it to the disciples to distribute to the crowds.

The disciples did feed the crowds with the little that they had when they surrendered it to Jesus.

Each time I have read this story, I have concentrated on the compassion that Jesus had on the crowds. I think that there may be a greater compassion that Jesus had on the disciples.

Jesus gave the disciples an impossible task to do in their own strength. I can imagine Jesus taking a long breath, smiling, and looking at them in love as He said, “Bring them here to me.”

He looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.

Here was the example. Jesus looked to heaven. He prayed.

Jesus multiplied the little that the disciples had and gave it back to them to feed the crowds.

And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. Matthew 14:20

Out of surrender came empowerment.

Out of little came abundance.

Out of prayer came a miracle.

Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds. Matthew 14:22

Out of obedience came another assignment.

This is the only miracle of Jesus that is recorded in all four Gospels. The Holy Spirit has much to teach us about the nature of Jesus, total surrender, and the Christian walk through this miracle.

My prayer for you

Compassionate Father, grant Your perfect wisdom to Your children as You teach us the truths in this miracle of provision, this miracle of total surrender, this miracle of taking little and growing it to abundance. We bring what little we have to You. Multiply it and empower us to bless others with abundance and service. Thank You for Your compassion on Your followers and the world.