October 24, 2018
During his time on earth, Jesus sought to get the truth of God’s heart to his disciples. Repeatedly, Jesus would remind them “the Father and I are One.” Sometimes Jesus’ disciples were way off on discerning God’s character or how Jesus should act in a given situation. So, let’s get real here; it is interesting how many of us come to God with our own ideas of his heart only to be confronted and surprised when God does something in our lives or the lives of others around us that we never saw coming.
In our Scripture today, Jesus will soon lay down his life to die for the sins of the world (kosmos), but before he does he gives the disciples an object lesson about what it means to be a disciple. He washes all of their feet; he washes the ones who will abandon him and he washes the one who will betray him. Notice, he does not berate them or publicly call them out to slap them for their immaturity. What does he do? He teaches them about the humble love of God who would not only clean them up on the inside, but would bend down to wash the feet of those who say one thing with their mouths and another with their lives. Unless Jesus washes us, we cannot love the way we are supposed to love. We will only love those who are like us. The very thing that proves we are Christ’s followers is unconditional love; without humble love we cannot be a part of what he is doing.
4-6 So he got up from the supper table, set aside his robe, and put on an apron. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with his apron. When he got to Simon Peter, Peter said, “Master, you wash my feet?”
7 Jesus answered, “You don’t understand now what I’m doing, but it will be clear enough to you later.”
8 Peter persisted, “You’re not going to wash my feet—ever!”
Jesus said, “If I don’t wash you, you can’t be part of what I’m doing.”
9 “Master!” said Peter. “Not only my feet, then. Wash my hands! Wash my head!”
10-12 Jesus said, “If you’ve had a bath in the morning, you only need your feet washed now and you’re clean from head to toe. My concern, you understand, is holiness, not hygiene. So now you’re clean. But not every one of you.” (He knew who was betraying him. That’s why he said, “Not every one of you.”) After he had finished washing their feet, he took his robe, put it back on, and went back to his place at the table.
12-17 Then he said, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn’t give orders to the employer. If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for today’s reminder from your word. Like your disciples in the story, I am dependent on your gift of grace as I have failed to love the way you love. Please continue to teach me about love, because your word says it never fails. That means it is love that wins souls, love that heals, and love that builds futures. I want to be a part of that love revival. In Jesus’ name. Amen.