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Jesus’ Basin of Water: Embraced Responsibility
Shortly before Pilate called for a basin, Jesus had taken another basin and used it for a far more godly purpose. We read about this in John’s account of the Last Supper.
Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.
(John 13:3-5 NLT)
Because of Jesus’ attitude and actions, because of His humility and obedience, this event speaks of a basin of embraced responsibility. Jesus’ act of servitude—washing the feet of His disciples—seems counterintuitive and contradictory to what Jesus knew. Review verse three again.

  •     Jesus knew that the Father had given Him authority over everything.
  •     Jesus knew that He had come from God.
  •     Jesus knew that He would be returning to God.

With Jesus’ awareness of who He was, it seems like He would have called for a basin and had others wash His feet, but that’s not how embraced responsibility works. Kingdom responsibility is not about getting others to serve us, but about us serving others. I know that the phrase in verse four (He took off His robe) is a literal statement, but it reminds me of what Philippians 2:5-8 (TLB) says of Him.
Your attitude should be the kind that was shown us by Christ Jesus, who, though He was God, did not demand and cling to His rights as God, but laid aside His mighty power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like men. And he humbled Himself even further, going so far as actually to die a criminal’s death on a cross. Yet it was because of this that God raised Him up to the heights of heaven and gave Him a name which is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Not only did Paul say we should have the same attitude that Jesus had, but the Lord Himself, when He washed the feet of the disciples, said, “...since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you” (John 13:14-15, NLT).

Pilate evaded responsibility, and were it not for his brief encounter with Jesus, he would be nothing but a footnote in a few, obscure historical books. Jesus embraced responsibility, and He is honored and worshipped by millions around the globe.

Winston Churchill said, “The price of greatness is responsibility.” If we want to be great in the Kingdom, we must embrace our responsibility of servanthood as Jesus did. This means no more excuses, no more cop-outs, no more blameshifting, no more ignoring or neglecting the mandates of heaven. Consider the following statements:

R.T. Kendall said, “When the Spirit is absent, our excuses always seem right, but in the presence of the Spirit our excuses fade away.”

Benjamin Franklin observed, “I never knew a man who was good at making excuses who was good at making anything else.”

D.L. Moody stated, “Excuses are the cradle… that Satan rocks men off to sleep in.”?

Remember this. There are two basins, and each of us has a choice. Abandoning responsibility is easier at the beginning, but is fruitless in the end. Embracing responsibility is more difficult at the beginning, but is glorious in the end.

Copyright © Tony Cooke Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Tony Cooke
Web site: Tony Cooke Ministries
Bible teacher and author Tony Cooke graduated from RHEMA Bible Training Center in 1980 and received degrees from North Central University (Bachelor's in Church Ministries) and Liberty University (Master's in Theological Studies/Church History). His ministerial background includes pastoral ministry, teaching in Bible schools, and directing a ministerial association. Tony's passion for teaching the Bible has taken him to more than thirty nations and nearly all fifty states. He is the author of a dozen books, of which, various titles have been translated and published in eight other languages. Tony and his wife, Lisa, reside in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and are the parents of two adult children.

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