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March 11, 2013

Relationship, Not Religion

“(He) poured water into a basin. Then He began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel He had around Him.” –John 13:5

The Son of God stands up, takes a towel and a bowl, and redefines greatness. If I’m going to tap into the power of community, I have to redefine greatness by focusing on relationships because they are more important than anything else. It’s so easy to get distracted by life. The disciples were distracted. They thought if they had power, then they would have fulfillment and connections. They thought if they had money and fame, that they were the greatest. If they helped Christ rule in his earthly kingdom, then they would have lots of friends and they would be fulfilled, but it was just an imitation of real connection. See, you are hardwired by God for relationship. If you feel unbalanced in your soul it’s because you are doing so many things in your full schedule, but you are not making time for your deeper purpose – connection. Loving and being loved on the deepest level. It’s that spiritual connection with your nuclear family and your spiritual family, the church. Those connections are important. Jesus was saying to the disciples, “You don’t get it. The greatest thing in life is not being the greatest, it’s not accomplishments, and it’s not achievements. It’s connecting in deep relationships on a spiritual level. Don’t you guys understand what this has all been about? The reason I came to this earth, the reason I’m going to the cross to die tomorrow is not for religion, but so that I can have a relationship with you. And the reason why I’ve spent most of my time with you in this small group of 12 is to model for you what brings the most fulfillment in life – relationship.”

Then He looked at them, and He told them in John 13:14, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” See those two underlined words? They are really important. We see them all through scripture. Jesus was saying, “Don’t you understand, the whole reason why I came, and the whole reason why I created you was for one another, for relationships, your relationship with me, your relationship with my heavenly Father through me, the son, your relationships with those around you, one another. Now that I’ve shown you how to be great, to connect in community with one another, then you need to do the same thing.” All through scripture we hear these two words paired together, one another. Love one another. Serve one another. Give to one another. Encourage one another. One another. One another. One another. So, if I’m going to do what Jesus said here, to live in community with one another, I have to connect and serve in community. What steps can you take to connect and serve in the community around you?