JOHN 13:1-6 – Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 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. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?”
THEME OF THE DAY. WASH ANY FEET LATELY? Today’s scripture is one of the most profound in all God’s Word. It shows us the heart of the Lord in many ways that other scriptures do not capture. The lessons in the foot-washing scene are many. And today, we want to consider four of them.
First, the Christian life is a serving life. The initiative was all of Jesus. He reached out to those needing their feet washed. He came to serve, not be served. And should we want to know more and more of the joy found in the Lord Jesus, it begins with self-denying service to others. When the Christian life is viewed as what I get from it instead of what I give in it, our intimacy with Jesus will suffer. Remember this important truth – the Christian life is a serving life.
Next, the Christian serves all people. There is no partiality when we serve. Go to the scene and watch Jesus go around the circle of disciples washing feet. He washes Matthew, then Nathaniel followed by Andrew. Judas, the betrayer, is next in line. We ponder and whisper to ourselves, “Surely, the Lord will skip him. No way He is going to serve His enemy.” Yet, Judas gets the same treatment as the rest. And we are to do likewise, serve all as Jesus served all, even our enemies.
A third lesson is closely related to the previous one; we serve those who hurt us. In our sinful humanness when someone inflicts pain upon us, the last thing we want to do is serve them. We are prone to want to retaliate, not serve. But our Lord will have no part of such impartiality. He serves the just and the unjust and expects us to do likewise. And this is where we see our constant need of grace. On our own, we will not serve those who hurt us. We will at best ignore them, or worse, be vindicated in attitude, maybe even actions. If we are going to see the “Judas people” in our lives we need to be constantly grace-empowered.
The fourth lesson from our Lord’s example of sacrificial service is simply that – He is our example. There is only one pattern to follow; there is only one model to emulate; there is only one example for us to mirror in our Christian lives. His name is Jesus. We don’t look at others to measure our service. Everything in the Christian life must be brought face-to-face with Him who is Christianity. Jesus and He alone is the mirror to measure our conduct and service for Him.
So, the question we must ask ourselves – “Wash any feet lately?” This is why Jesus came and He said, “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” (John 13:14-15). May we be obedient children as He commands of us.
PRAYER: “Father, help me to see my life in Your Son is that of serving others, not served by others.”
QUOTE: “Our joy in the Lord will be in direct proportion to our service for the Lord”