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John 13-17 is called the Upper Room discourse and contains what Jesus told his disciples on the night before the crucifixion while they were observing Passover in the “upper room.” 

John 13 teaches that the Lord wants you to live to bless at home, at work, at school, and in your church. Helping other people is a massive part of your discipleship journey. Serving others is a big part of how the Lord matures us.  

The Lord created you in His image and imbedded in your DNA a desire to contribute and not simply be a consumer. 

This chapter begins with the final coach talk, showing them by example and word, how to make a difference.  

Four Habits of People who Live to Bless 

  1. Have an “others” first attitude 

John 13:1-2 says, “Before the Passover Festival, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. Now when it was time for supper, the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, to betray him.” 

When people would come to Jesus and attempt to make Him king after He had performed a miracle, Jesus would say, “My time has not yet come.” In John 13, Jesus knew that now His hour had come.  

If you knew you only had 24 hours to live, what would you do? Most people would choose to do things they wanted to do. Jesus spent the last 3.5 years with these men, and He loved them until the end.  

Verse 3 says, “Jesus knew that the Father had given everything into his hands, that he had come from God, and that he was going back to God.” 

Many of us are prone to drift towards our own desires and wants, another word for it is narcissism. The gospel takes an axe to the root of this self-focus.  

Matthew 20:28 says, “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” 

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.” 

We have the opportunity to serve others, dozens of times a day. May times, those opportunities look like interruptions. The important question is will you look away from your self long enough to think about others? 

  1. Have an identity secure in Christ 

People who add value, base their identity in Jesus. 

It is the gospel that gives us both humility and identity. It is hard to be prideful when you know your sin was so bad, Jesus had to die to take them away. The gospel is not “you are bad, try harder.” It is “look at what Jesus did and who you are in Him.” 

You now have this new identity in Christ, and it compels you to a new way of living. You no longer need to prove your worth, you are valuable.  

We were rescued by a great and glorious Savior, who then put us into service to rescue others. Once you are rescued, you get put in the rescue team, the church. 

  1. Pay attention to the needs around me and then take action 

John 13:4-5 says, “So he got up from supper, laid aside his outer clothing, took a towel, and tied it around himself. Next, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel tied around him.” 

Washing feet was a lowly thing. The way it worked was that the servant would come in and wash the feet before dinner. Yet no one did it because it was a job no one wanted to do. 

The sinless Son of God got up from the table and did it. This is a picture of the gospel. Jesus looked down from His seat next to the Father and sees our greatest need. Then He takes off His robe of glory to come to earth and clothes himself with humanity, dies on the cross and goes back to the Father. 

  1. Live to bless because you are following Christ’s example 

John 13:10-15 says, “When Jesus had washed their feet and put on his outer clothing, he reclined again and said to them, “Do you know what I have done for you? You call me Teacher and Lord — and you are speaking rightly, since that is what I am. So, if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done for you.” 

We follow His example. Jesus is telling his disciples “I wash your feet as an example of how to live for others.” 

Our mission is to live to bless at our homes, at work, at school and at church. Let’s follow His example! 

Pastor Chris Williams 

To learn more about Pastor Chris and his teaching, visit us on the web at and make sure you subscribe to receive these weekly encouragements in your inbox. 

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