Ron J Campbell
John 13: 12-15
1 John 3: 16-17
I just thought, beloved brethren, of the way to maintain good conditions in our localities. It is a great challenge to have things maintained at the divine level, with an appreciation of one another: a real appreciation of one another!
I have read these scriptures because they have the word ‘ought’ in them, and I think it is an obligation on us, that we should carry out these things. It is not a command, it is an obligation of love. And the Lord Jesus is setting out an example here; He washes the disciples’ feet. He gets down to their feet and He washes them. How condescending of the Lord to stoop down and wash the disciples feet! But He was teaching them something; there was instruction in it. He says, “as I have done to you, ye should do also”. I believe that it is the way to the maintenance of good conditions amongst the saints, if we are prepared to stoop down and wash one another’s feet. It is an obligation on us as I say; the Lord does not issue it as a command here, but He says “ye also ought to wash one another’s feet”. I believe, beloved brethren, as we stoop down and wash one another’s feet, we have a real appreciation of one another. We value one another. I believe this is incumbent on us to maintain our affection and love for one another, that we might stoop down and wash one another’s feet as the Lord has done to the disciples. He is giving them an example. And if the Lord gives an example, it is a perfect example. There is no flaw in what the Lord does! He stoops down and washes the disciples feet, and He says, “If I therefore, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet; for I have given you an example that, as I have done to you, ye should do also”. Well, the Lord is giving them a perfect example. But how we need to value and appreciate one another, to seek to maintain one another at the right level, and to seek to maintain one another in relation to the company, in relation to the continual blessings and encouragement that we get as we are together. It is good to keep one another in that area, that order of things.
I just thought of that ‘ought’ that the Lord says here; He desires that these kind of conditions might be maintained amongst the disciples, and we would seek to maintain these conditions amongst ourselves.
Well, John says in his epistle, “Hereby we have known love, because he has laid down his life for us”. It is as if we would never have known love if Christ had not laid down His life for us. What a sacrifice! And we have known love; it has been expressed to us; it has been demonstrated by the Lord Jesus: “Hereby we have known love, because he has laid down his life for us”; what a Saviour He is! What an example He is, beloved brethren! He has laid down His life for us! What a sacrifice He has undertaken. It also says “and we ought for the brethren to lay down our lives”. Well this is another of John’s ‘oughts’ in his gospel and his epistles; here. “we ought for the brethren to lay down our lives”. I believe the maintenance of one another in right conditions in our localities, to maintain one another in relation to divine things vitally, needs the sacrifice involved in laying down our lives for the brethren. We should be encouraged in this, beloved brethren, so that conditions are maintained that are suitable that we might enjoy divine things, we might enjoy the company of one another, and we might prove the blessings that are to be had in our comings together as we are with one another.
I just seek to encourage our hearts; we ‘ought’ to wash one another’s feet, and we ‘ought’ to lay down our lives for the brethren. I believe good conditions will be maintained as we exercise these things.
May it be so for His Name’s sake.
22nd July 2014