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Showing Grace To The Undeserving

John 13:14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.

Years ago, my youngest son was searching for an Aesop’s Fable to present to his class. He finally settled on the story about the lazy grasshopper and the hard-working ant.

You’ve probably heard the story. The diligent ant works hard all summer while the lazy grasshopper lies in the shade sipping lemonade. Come winter, the ant has a warm house with plenty of food while the grasshopper is hungry and cold on the outside looking in. Moral of the story: It’s good to work hard and plan for the future.

I could tell my son didn’t like how the story ended. “Did the ant let him in?” he asked. Only to be followed up by, “Did he die out there in the cold?”

After telling the story, my son wanted to act it out. But as we got to the end, he paused our amateur play to ask if he could change the ending. He wanted to let the grasshopper in. But I was adamant. You can’t just change the story. I gave him a very long-winded explanation about how our choices have consequences.

My son listened patiently. After my lecture, I asked him why he wanted to change the story. He hesitated and told me that he wanted to let the grasshopper in and give him food and a blanket. I consented and told him we could call it ‘Timothy’s Fables’.

I asked him, “And what’s the moral of Timothy’s Fable?”


He explained that grace was what the grasshopper received so that he could come in and eat food and be warm, “even though he didn’t deserve it.”

John 13:15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

My dear son’s words had me thinking about our LORD Jesus – how he extended grace to the undeserving. Reading through John 13 I came across the scene where Jesus washes his disciples’ feet. Jesus washed the feet of Judas – the one who would betray him. Jesus washed the feet of Peter – the one who would deny Him three times. Jesus washed the feet of all the disciples – who would abandon Him. Jesus extended grace in a Spirit of humility to those who never deserved grace. And in this foot washing ceremony, Jesus gives us an example to follow.

Each person we meet doesn’t need a lecture, criticism or judgement. They just need our grace, whether they deserve it or not. How has the LORD Jesus treated each of us? With the same display of grace that He has shown us, we are to extend to others. If Jesus is willing to do this should we not also be willing to follow His example?

John 13:17 ‘If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.’

About Jennifer Woodley

Jennifer is an Australian freelance writer who lives in a small rural town in sunny Queensland. She is passionate about encouraging others on their journey with Christ through writing and mentoring. Jennifer is a school chaplain, wife, mother of three adult sons and loving grandma of one adorable grandson. More of her writing can be found at www.inhisname6.com and www.faithwriters.com.

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  1. Receiving grace is what we all need. This world is like the picture of that grasshopper who seeks after pleasure and even a lazy attitude not foreseeing where they are heading.
    Once the damage has been done a living response can change many lives
    Enjoyed your experience that you know can share.


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