Dive Deeper Week 1

Written by Kaley Morgan

Week 1 of the Dive Deeper Easter Reading Challenge is complete! Well done! You’ve looked at all four gospels to study Jesus predicting his death, his triumphal entry, the plot to kill Jesus, the anointing at Bethany, Judas making plans to betray Jesus, the first Lord’s Supper, Jesus predicting Peter’s denials, and the prayer in the garden. Phew! This was a big week, and probably the week with the most reading. If you made it through this week, take heart, the remaining 3 weeks will be easier. There is so much good packed into these pages in the gospels, so I hope you spend time reflecting on all the various parts of this story.

For the sake of keeping this blog to a digestible length, let’s just dig into three of these segments a little more.


Jesus predicted his death 3 different times, and Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record all three.

A big take away from these pieces from Matthew, Mark, and Luke is that despite Jesus telling them exactly what was going to happen, they still failed to understand. Luke 18:34 (CSB), “They understood none of these things. The meaning of the saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.”

We might be tempted to think, Jesus is telling you exactly what is going to happen, what is up with these disciples that they do not understand? After all, the verses right before say, “For he will be handed over to the Gentiles, and he will be mocked, insulted, spit on; and after they flog him, they will kill him, and he will rise on the third day” (Lk. 18:32-33, CSB). What’s not to get? That sounds like pretty plain language to me.

Here’s the thing. While they were familiar with the old testament prophecies, including ones about the Messiah coming as a suffering servant, they held a narrow view of him as the reigning King. They were selective with what they wanted to see. They wanted to see a strong, warrior of a King that has come to save them from the Roman oppression they were living under, and reign forever. Simply put, they saw him in light of what would benefit themselves; “in this sense, what ‘was hidden from them’ (Lk. 18:34 CSB) resulted from their own self-deception” (Getz, p 1331). Since they expected his reign to last forever, how could he die? They were looking at their current problems, a rather narrow picture. Therefore, they could not reconcile their expectations with Jesus’ words, which were saying that he is to suffer death on the cross… and not necessarily solve their current Roman oppression problem.

We do this, too, don’t we? Many times, we are selective with what we believe about Jesus (even if we’ve read the whole Bible and think we know). We expect him to do things a certain way, and then miss what he is actually doing because we fail to understand the bigger picture. We want him to do things in a way that will benefit us now, and solve our current problems the way we want it solved. It is a self-serving view that all of us fall into at different times. So, let’s take this part of the story as a reminder to step back and trust God with the bigger picture, even when we don’t understand what he is doing or saying. Despite Appearances, God is in control.

We know that Jesus didn’t come to rescue the jews from Roman oppression. His purpose was unfathomably bigger than that. He came to save all people across all time. Trust that God’s way is the best way, and is most likely totally different than our own way.

Questions for Reflection: In what ways might you be selective in how you view Jesus? What spiritual blind spots might you have that is leading you to minimize who Jesus is and what He is doing? Are there problems in your life that you are expecting Jesus to solve your way, where you need to take a step back and trust Him with the bigger picture?

All the gospels cover the Lord’s Supper, but John is the only one that includes Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. Let’s take a closer look at that.

Washing feet before a meal was as customary then as washing hands before a meal is for us today. People traveled everywhere on foot, in sandals or sometimes barefoot. You can imagine the dirt, grime, and contaminates caked on people’s feet come dinner time. You probably don’t want to imagine that (sorry, not sorry).

Washing feet was considered one of the lowliest jobs. I wonder if there was supposed to be a servant there to wash their feet. After all, it was customary. I’m not sure what was supposed to happen or what the disciples thought would happen. I wonder how many, if any, of the disciples were secretly wondering what to do about this. John 13:4 begins “So he got up from supper…” This makes it sound like they were already sitting down for supper. It might be that since there was no servant present to wash their feet, the disciples were just going to forego it. I mean, none of them initiated to wash feet. The basin and towel were obviously there. I wonder if it crossed their minds to do such a lowly task and they thought themselves above it, or if it was nowhere near being a thought.

But, once again, Jesus does what they do not expect. He gets up and washes their feet. The son of God performs what was considered one of the lowliest tasks. Based on Peter’s response, I bet all the disciples were a little embarrassed by Jesus’ humble actions. Can you imagine the glances around the room between the disciples? They had probably all been engaging in various conversation, then suddenly they’re watching Jesus do something that would hadn’t dared to do. They were undone, possibly speechless, and maybe even a little confused at why Jesus was doing this.

Thankfully, after Jesus finishes, he reclines and tells the disciples exactly what he means by doing this. Jesus says, “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” (Jn 13:14-15, CSB). In other words, no matter who we are or what our role is, all of us are to serve one another in love. This story is one of the greatest examples of servant leadership. John didn’t record the disciples argument about who is greatest among them, but Luke does. I am not sure the exact chronology of these two events, but a part of me wonders if the feet washing served as a timely demonstration in response to the disciples argument. Luke 22:24 (CSB) says “then a dispute also arose among them about who should be considered the greatest.” In which Jesus responds, “whoever is greatest among you should become like the youngest, and whoever leads, like the one serving. For who is greater, the one at the table or the one serving. Isn’t it the one at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.” (Lk. 22:26b-27, CSB). God’s economy is opposite, friends. Down is up.

Question for Reflection: How does the principle of servant leadership relate to various roles in the family of God—as elders or pastors, as parents, as husbands and wives, and as members of Christ’s body generally? (Getz, p1371)

To close out this week, I think it’s appropriate to highlight John 13:34-35. Towards the end of this first Last Supper, Jesus says, “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Now this is after Jesus washed their feet, so they certainly understood this in context of servant leadership. But this goes much further than that. John demonstrates later that he understood what Jesus meant when he writes in 1 John 3:16-17 (CSB), “This is how we have come to know love: He laid down his life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has this world’s goods and sees a fellow believer in need but withholds compassion from him—how does God’s love reside in him? Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in action and in truth.”

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV) says, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”

Love is at the root of it all. Love is the primary fruit that distinguishes us as true followers of Jesus. Without love, we are ineffective. Regardless of what you do, if you don’t have love, you’ve accomplished nothing for God. Without love, we cannot effectively carry out our God-given purpose to go and make disciples.

Question for Reflection: Why is love for one another such a powerful factor in carrying out the Great Commission? (Getz, p1372)
Citations: Getz, G. A. (2019). Holy Bible: CSB Life Essentials Study Bible. Holman Bible Publishers.

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