Intro: Last Sunday, I shared about the dangers of pride to our relationship with Christ and how destructive a lack of empathy is to our relationship with others. Certainly, the struggle to fight against this sin is real and we must seek the power of the Spirit to help us maintain a humble attitude, so we can produce righteous actions. Living our lives in a spirit of humility is a struggle even though Jesus made it look easy.
In our passage today, Jesus is getting ready to share a Passover meal with his disciples. It is not an ordinary Passover; it is a set up for salvation and every aspect of the evening reveals the love of God to redeem the world. The events of the evening are permeated with profound spiritual lessons that touch the lives of the disciples, as well as the lives of believers throughout time.
Judas chooses to be led by evil; no surprise, because a betrayal is necessary and Jesus came to destroy the work of Satan (Gen 3:15; Zech 11:12-13). Our scripture teaches Jesus knew the timing for his return to heaven had arrived; no surprise, because it was prophesied (Dan 7:13-14). Jesus knew the Father had given him the power he needed to bring salvation to earth; no surprise, because Jesus is the Passover Lamb to be slain and this is the time (Ex 12:21-27). What is a surprise is how difficult humility is for human beings even when we are told serving brings joy to our souls.
John 13:1-17 GNT Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet
1 It was now the day before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. He had always loved those in the world who were his own, and he loved them to the very end.
2 Jesus and his disciples were at supper. The Devil had already put into the heart of Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, the thought of betraying Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had given him complete power; he knew that he had come from God and was going to God. 4 So he rose from the table, took off his outer garment, and tied a towel around his waist. 5 Then he poured some water into a washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Are you going to wash my feet, Lord?”
7 Jesus answered him, “You do not understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later.”
8 Peter declared, “Never at any time will you wash my feet!”
“If I do not wash your feet,” Jesus answered, “you will no longer be my disciple.”
9 Simon Peter answered, “Lord, do not wash only my feet, then! Wash my hands and head, too!”
10 Jesus said, “Those who have taken a bath are completely clean and do not have to wash themselves, except for their feet. All of you are clean—all except one.” (11 Jesus already knew who was going to betray him; that is why he said, “All of you, except one, are clean.”)
12 After Jesus had washed their feet, he put his outer garment back on and returned to his place at the table. “Do you understand what I have just done to you?” he asked. 13 “You call me Teacher and Lord, and it is right that you do so, because that is what I am. 14 I, your Lord and Teacher, have just washed your feet. You, then, should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set an example for you, so that you will do just what I have done for you. 16 I am telling you the truth: no slaves are greater than their master, and no messengers are greater than the one who sent them. 17 Now that you know this truth, how happy you will be if you put it into practice!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your perfect example of humility. You humbled yourself and left the glory of heaven in order to save us. You humbled yourself by washing the sin off from us through your cleansing Word of Truth. You humbled yourself to die for our sin on the cross even though you were innocent and pure. Thank you for your love! So, Lord, please help us assume a humble posture and put on a servant’s heart to minister to others, today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.