When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you?You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am.If I then, 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 to you.Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he.
– John 13:12-19
The world is filled with all kinds of people, and most fit into one of three categories that we also find in John 13. Judas is evil. Peter is foolish. Jesus is wise. No matter which category we fall into, we can all learn from Jesus. With only days before His death on the cross, Jesus provides for us an incredible example of wisdom with seven ways of the wise:
- Wise people follow Jesus as the perfect role model. When we think of what a “normal” person is supposed to be like, we need to remember Jesus Christ.
- Wise people let Jesus humbly serve them and then humbly serve others. It takes humility to both be served and to serve. To follow Jesus requires both kinds of humility.
- Wise people learn from their Teacher Jesus before they teach anyone else. Jesus invites us to be His student before we are ready to be anyone’s teacher.
- Wise people do not allow evil people to change their character. Judas was evil, but Jesus did not allow the betrayal and murderous plot of Judas to corrupt His character.
- Wise people know when to release evil people. Jesus had loved and served Judas for three years to no avail. Judas was not going to change, so Jesus released Him. Sometimes we need to do the same with evil people in our life.
- Wise people think long-term. In telling the disciples what was going to happen in the future, Jesus was preparing them to think long-term despite the looming betrayal of Judas.
- Wise people live by the power of the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit who empowered Christ to walk in wisdom is available for Christians to follow in His footsteps. It is possible for even foolish people (like Peter) and evil people (like Paul) to become wise as these great church leaders did. God is happy to forgive our failing and change our future.
Who in your life is wise and helps you grow in wisdom?