Happiness Comes by Serving Others

Dwight L. Moody says it well, “Happiness is caused by things that happen around me, and circumstances will mar it; but joy flows right on through trouble; joy flows on through the dark; joy flows in the night as well as in the day; joy flows all through persecution and oppos … More


The key to this passage is found in verse 17 - “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” The sequence is important, which is humbleness, holiness and then happinessHappiness is the by- product of a life that is lived in humbleness and holiness (vv. 12-17). The world thinks that happiness is the result of others serving us, but real joy comes when we serve others.

Christ asked the disciples if they had understood the meaning of what He had done (v. 12). If He was willing to humble Himself to the point of washing His disciples’ feet, then the disciples should have been willing to do the same thing (vv. 13-14). As an example, Christ was not instituting an ordinance of foot washing, but was showing humility (v. 15). He did not command us to perform this act, but to acquire the attitude that this activity displays. 


Blessing (happy are ye) is the result of practicing a life of humility and service (vv. 16-17). The example Jesus gave to the disciples is not in washing feet but in serving others. Blessing (v. 17) is not found in having the knowledge of what pleases God but in doing things that please Him. 


“I speak not of you all” (v. 18). This refers to the fact that not all the disciples would have blessings on their lives because they were humble. One of those who ate with Christ would betray Him in a few short moments. Christ was speaking of Judas (cf. Ps 41:9). Christ forewarned the disciples that this would take place (vv. 19-20). The disciples did not question Christ’s choice of Judas since this was all a part of God’s plan. To accept Christ means to accept the Father. 



It hardly seems possible that perhaps only 20% of Americans are genuinely happy. It is because many people seek it through money, people, events etc. All of this is only temporary at best and can’t bring lasting happiness. It is only by having a relationship with Jesus Christ and obedience to God’s Word that can bring me real happiness

John 13:12-20 (English Standard Version)

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