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Ramadan Mubarak, Day 12—The Humble Kingdom

«.لَو كانَتْ مَملَكتِي تَنتَمِي إلَى هَذا العالَمِ، لَكانَ أتباعِي يُحارِبُونَ لِيَمنَعُوا تَسلِيْمِي إلَى اليَهُودِ. لَكِنَّ مَملَكَتِي لَيْسَتْ مِنْ هُنا »

by Scott Cherry—

Unthinkable Humility. 

On the night of his last Passover meal Jesus performed one of the strangest and most uncommon acts for a figure of such epic prominence and power as the Messiah: He washed his disciples' feet. Yet it was entirely consistent with his M.O. which makes it believable. He lived it out thoroughly. It was yet one more demonstration that he came "not to be served but to serve...and to GIVE his life [not take]...as a ransom for many." That is mind-blowing to me. 

This is what the Apostle John recorded of the experience:

"Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. ...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."

To me it seems nearly unthinkable, that the very Messiah whom the disciples called Lord and Master would humble himself to that extent. Has such a thing ever been heard of from any other religious leader in all of history?

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«مَملَكَتِي لا تَنتَمِي إلَى هَذا العالَمِ.»  "My kingdom is not of this world."  It would seem that only an alien like Thor or Kal El "Superman" would say something like this. But it wasn't them. Besides, they are fictional. The man who said this was real and had very strange ideas about himself. "What kind of a outrageous claim is that?" his audience wondered in disbelief. But there's more: «.لَو كانَتْ مَملَكتِي تَنتَمِي إلَى هَذا العالَمِ، لَكانَ أتباعِي يُحارِبُونَ لِيَمنَعُوا تَسلِيْمِي إلَى اليَهُودِ. لَكِنَّ مَملَكَتِي لَيْسَتْ مِنْ هُنا.» It was none other than Jesus. (Injeel, Gospel of the Apostle John, 18:36, New Testament)

But Jesus didn't just say strange things, he was strange. Strangely wonderful. Jesus was at once aloof from the world, as though he didn't belong, as well as grounded and down-to-earth. He lived the Isaiah 58 life, the most noble life of all. Christians, Muslims, and all admirers of Jesus should aspire to it because he lived and modeled it for the whole world (not just for Israel nor only for that time). His was a life of perpetual fasting-in-principal, utterly selfless and self-sacrificial. Even today, this is the kind of person we celebrate the most.

You see, Jesus gave, he did not take. He literally gave himself for the needs of people, even those who rejected him. He didn't use, exploit or subjugate them. He committed not one act of violence or war—ever—and forbade his Apostles from doing so. Further, he was unlike any other prophet in terms of his healing ministry.

The narratives say this (note what the demons said): "...All those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. And demons also came out of many, crying, 'You are the Son of God!' ...And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them. ...and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities." (Injeel, Gospel of Luke 4:40-41 and 5:15, New Testament)

As I said in previous posts, even when he ate Jesus was fasting from anything self-indulgent, superficial, coercive, or power-grabbing. He had enormous power but He never lorded it over people. He could have ruled the greatest empire but he rejected that. He also had enormous authority that was very intimidating to the leaders of the day. He was a king and he knew it, but his kingdom was "not of this world". He said that to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate during his final interrogation. Here's the whole quote:

“My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” (Injeel, Gospel of John 18:36, NewTestament) https://www.esv.org/John+18/

These are the reasons why Jesus was the paragon of goodness, and the ultimate spiritual authority. Among prophets he was a peerless example of spiritual authenticity and genuineness. He lived what he preached.

Continued from the last two segments on this theme. Click here to revisit Days 1-24.


This is what the Apostle John recorded of the experience:

"Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. ...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."

To me it seems nearly unthinkable, that the very Messiah whom the disciples called Lord and Master would humble himself to that extent. Has such a thing ever been heard of from any other religious leader in all of history?

This is what the Apostle John recorded of the experience:

"Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. ...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."

To me it seems nearly unthinkable, that the very Messiah whom the disciples called Lord and Master would humble himself to that extent. Has such a thing ever been heard of from any other religious leader in all of history?

This is what the Apostle John recorded of the experience:

"Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. ...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."

To me it seems nearly unthinkable, that the very Messiah whom the disciples called Lord and Master would humble himself to that extent. Has such a thing ever been heard of from any other religious leader in all of history?

  • 23 April 2021
  • Author: Scott Cherry
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