Devotional: ‘The Distinguishing Mark of a Christian’


John 13:1 Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. 2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; 3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; 4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

Jesus did an amazing thing just before His arrest and crucifixion. Scripture says that He humbled Himself before His disciples and washed their dirty feet. Historians teach us that this was something for a common slave to do and certainly not someone whom others called their Master. Yet the Creator chose to serve His creation. Though the disciples could not understand why Jesus would do such a thing, the Bible tells us very clearly the motive for His actions. “Having loved His own, He loved them unto the end.” Jesus did what He did because of love.

Later that same evening, our Lord said this to that same group of men – “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35) In other words, “The world will know that you are one of My followers, when they see you doing what I have done.”

What kind of impact do you suppose we might have upon others if they witnessed in us such love and humility? Who could criticize us for our actions? Who could deny the sincerity of our faith? Maybe it might even cause some skeptics to consider that perhaps our God might be real.

Tertullian, a church leader in the second century, said of Christians:

“The working of such love puts a brand upon us,
for ‘See,’ say the heathen, ‘how they love one another,
and are ready to lay down their lives for each other.’” [1]

Jesus said: “The world will know that you are one of My followers, when they see you doing what I have done.”


[1] Tertullian, The Apology, ch. XXXIX




[1] Tertullian, The Apology, ch. XXXIX



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