Day 4 of 2 Weeks 2 the Cross: John 13:1-20
Before the Passover Festival, Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
Now by the time of supper, the Devil had already put it into the heart of Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, to betray Him. Jesus knew that the Father had given everything into His hands, that He had come from God, and that He was going back to God. So He got up from supper, laid aside His robe, took a towel, and tied it around Himself. Next, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel tied around Him.
He came to Simon Peter, who asked Him, “Lord, are You going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered him, “What I’m doing you don’t understand now, but afterward you will know.”
“You will never wash my feet—ever!” Peter said.
Jesus replied, “If I don’t wash you, you have no part with Me.”
Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.”
“One who has bathed,” Jesus told him, “doesn’t need to wash anything except his feet, but he is completely clean. You are clean, but not all of you.” For He knew who would betray Him. This is why He said, “You are not all clean.”
When Jesus had washed their feet and put on His robe, He reclined again and said to them, “Do you know what I have done for you? You call Me Teacher and Lord. This is well said, for I am. So if I, 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 for you.
“I assure you: A slave is not greater than his master, and a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. I’m not speaking about all of you; I know those I have chosen. But the Scripture must be fulfilled: The one who eats My bread has raised his heel against Me.
“I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He. I assure you: Whoever receives anyone I send receives Me, and the one who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”
As a mom, I’ve washed my children’s toes countless times. But, I’ve never had my feet washed by them.
Tonight was definitely an experience for all of us!
Jesus loved us so much and knew that on our own, our tendency would be to want others to serve us rather than humbling ourselves to serve each other. So, instead of just telling us to serve one another, He showed us Himself how we were to do it. He took off His robe, wrapped a towel around His waist and washed His disciples feet, even the one who would betray Him.
To help us understand, we took turns washing each other’s feet. We filled a large bowl with warm water (especially with all the unexpected spring snow falling outside, we didn’t want our feet to get cold!), and then wrapped a towel around our waists.
Lauren reminded me of Peter. It wasn’t enough for her to have me use my hands to wipe the water on her feet. She jumped right in. Amazingly enough, the kitchen didn’t get too wet!
Jackson loved washing each of our feet, imagining He was Jesus and serving the disciples.
Often my husband and I try to get out of bathing our youngest and make the other do it, and the paper rock scissors game has often determined which of us gets to take on the task. Many of us as parents dread certain responsibilities (like cleaning the toilet or folding the umpteenth load of laundry that day) instead of realizing the absolute gift it is to care for the children God has given to us.
Our greatest assignments from God are to love and serve one another. That’s how we grow and how others see Jesus in us.
And tonight, as little hands washed my feet, I was reminded of that purpose and privilege in my life.