Jesus, the King of Kings and Mighty Warrior, is tender with His own. He is the gentle, loving, and patient Prince of Peace. And, despite His eternal and universal authority, He modeled true humility, taking on mortal human flesh and serving others.
Washing His followers’ feet was a prime example of this, as illustrated here in Jesus Washing Peter's Feet, by Pre-Raphaelite English painter Ford Madox Brown (1821-1893).
See His bowed head, as he softly scrubs Peter’s feet, filthy and calloused from walking dusty roads barefoot or in sandals. Might Jesus be praying for this special friend, who would go on to deny Him thrice before being restored and sent out to found the church of Christ?
Look at the faces of the other followers. Don’t they look amazed, astounded, confused, and even shocked at the sight before them?
Jesus demonstrated hands-on ministry with tenderness and compassion. And He asks the same of us. Hey, it’s a lot harder than it sounds, especially with some folks. But He understands all about rebellion, rejection, and resentment from those who are served.
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-29, NIV)
I’ve always wondered why Jesus said His yoke was easy and His burden was light. It sounds nonsensical. Serving the Lord is rewarding, but it can also be downright difficult. And ministry was particularly costly for Him, as it required His very life.
Maybe He meant the yoke He places on us is easy – not the yoke He bore Himself. Maybe the burden He offers us is light, if we compare it to the rough-hewn one He carried to Calvary.
Could it be that the yoke and burden He gives us is all the easier and lighter because we are able to lean on Him for tender encouragement, strong support, caring comfort, immeasurable power, and sure purpose?
Perhaps this passage makes sense, after all. Tender Jesus is more than enough.
Jesus Washing Peter's Feet
by Ford Madox Brown
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The Scripture memory tips series is ongoing, but the April A to Z Blogging Challenge has started, and Heart of a Ready Writer is participating again this year. Watch for the Bible memory series posts, which may be interspersed with the Pictures of Jesus series during the month of April.