Job 42:1-6; Philippians 2:1-13; John 13:1-15
Open your mind and heart as you read the passage of Scripture aloud and then again quietly to
yourself. Listen for God’s word to you.
Job confessed his ignorance, but his words are those of someone who has been liberated, rather than one who has been humiliated. He still did not understand the reason behind his suffering but now he repented of the arrogance he had shown as he spoke about God to his friends. He admitted God can do anything, and this includes, not just the wonderful act of
creation, but the comfort He offers. He had doubted God, but now He had come to realise that God was with him even in his crisis. Dust and ash were symbols of mourning in the Old Testament. Job did not agree with his friends words, but repented of the sins he himself had committed after the tragedies had occurred. It was these words of repentance that brought the contest between God and Satan to a close. The victory belonged to God and Job.
In this passage unity is the goal, and Paul describes how such unity can occur. He does not mean
that everyone should think alike, but that each one holds their own style of relationship with God in
harmony with the other members of the Body of Christ. There are different perceptions of what that
means, just as each Christ-follower has different gifts. No one serves God in the same way as any
other person. The goal of all who follow Christ is to follow His example, considering others before
oneself and to caring for one another. This can be summed up in Ubuntu : ‘I am, because we are’. It
is revealed by Christ’s presence in all who believe in Him. The attitude of every believer should be that of Jesus Himself as He lived and worked among people with humility in all He did. God alone
can accomplish this in each one who follows Christ.
The scene described in this passage demonstrates Jesus’ love as He humbly served His disciples.
Washing people’s feet was a task assigned to a slave. Yet as Jesus drew nearer to God as His
crucifixion approached, so He grew nearer to people. William Barclay states: ‘The nearer we are to
suffering humanity, the nearer we are to God.’ Jesus experienced the greatest harm humanity could
cause Him with the greatest humility and supreme love. In this instance, He did for them what none
of them was prepared to do. He demonstrated the greatness of service to all those who follow Him.
Barclay describes Him as having a ‘regal dignity’ in this act of service. Sometimes, as Peter’s
response shows, it is as hard to be served as to serve.
NB Group Leaders:
Provide enough identical small squares of paper that can be folded in four for each member of the
group to have one. Use them during the discussion as requested.
What aspect of your life would you like to begin again and have a fresh start? Why?
• What is the biggest challenge facing you at this point of time as a result of the impact Covid
and the unrest has had on your life in the past weeks? Do you find yourself sinking into it
or are you trying to rise above it?
• What part are others playing in this challenge? Are they helping you or are you helping
them? Or are you burying your struggle and not interacting with others? What difference
does other people’s role make to you? What difference are you making for them?
• ‘We can’t do humility consciously.’ So how do we – how do you – do it? What makes us
realise a person is humble? What is the definition of humility for you? How do you see
humility giving people the sacred dignity of their humanity?
• The question was asked during the sermon: ‘Are you really prepared to allow Jesus to go to
the epicentre of your sin, unpick it and dismantle its perpetual power over you?’ Are you?
Why/why not? How do you feel about this?
• ‘I want to repent and begin again.’ What do these words mean for you at this time? Spend a
few moments in silence and ask God what He is saying to you through them. What is He
bringing to mind that you need to repent about? Write one aspect requiring repentance
from you on the paper provided, fold the paper in half and half again and then put in in
the bowl on the table.
Each one is to draw out a piece of folded paper. (If it is your own place it back in the bowl.) Pray
for one another in regard to the issue that you have drawn that Christ will help that group member
to deal with the struggle they have named; pray also for any other issues that have been raised
discussion time, and in regard to other needs of the group.
Then consider the following question:
• How can the group help you with the struggles you have mentioned during this session?
If you have not received any apparent answer to the prayers offered during this session set time
aside to listen for God’s response during the coming week. What is He saying to you? What action,
if any, do you need to take? Make one step towards a new beginning during the coming week. How
will this step help you to care for others in humility and offer them your friendship? Share what has
happened with one other group member before the next meeting.
Adeyomo, Tokunhoh, et al. Africa Bible Commentary. WordAlive Publishers, Nairoi, Kenya, 2006
Barclay, William. The Daily Study Bible, The Gospel of John Volume 2. The Saint Andrew Press, Edinburgh, 1981