Before the Passover meal, the disciples forgot to wash Jesus’ feet. Bad performance! After Jesus explained the bread and wine symbolised His upcoming crucifixion, they started arguing who would be the greatest in the Kingdom. Bad performance! Within hours they’d fallen asleep on Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Bad performance! And He knew Peter would deny him. Bad performance! So how did Jesus grade them? He didn’t! Jesus doesn’t grade people. And you don’t have to either.
You’ll find wonderful rest in your soul once you stop grading people, and instead start loving them from where they are to where they need to be. Rather than rebuking the disciples, Jesus compliments, rewards, promotes, and puts them on Heaven’s roll of honour. Even after they failed to wash His feet He still desired to eat Passover with them (see Luke 22:15). Nourished by their love, He said, ‘You are those who have stood by Me in My trials. And I confer on you a Kingdom… you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom and sit on thrones.’ (Luke 22:28–30 NIV)
On His most agonising night He passed out gifts, and gave His very young disciples more than He ever gave anybody in terms of honour and glory. In His eyes they were all great. He didn’t grade them on their performance, but on their love that motivated them to forsake all and stick with Him through thick and thin.
Reimar Schultze says, ‘Don’t set up standards for yourself. That can kill you. As Jesus loved His disciples then, so He loves them now. So stop fussing and nit-picking at yourself and others!’