Judas had agreed with the chief priests, to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver (Luke 22:2-5), fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah: “So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver” (Zechariah 11:12b).
John 13 – “His hour was come”
Jesus was mindful that the day had come when He would be betrayed, and die on the Cross (13:1). Moved by His love for sinners, He would soon express that love in His suffering, humiliation, and death (13:2).
When the Passover supper was ended, Jesus rose from the table, laid aside His robe, girded Himself in a towel, and began to wash the feet of His disciples (13:4). Although an awkward moment, the disciples allowed Jesus to wash their feet. When He came to Peter, he objected to this act of servitude and asked, “Lord, dost thou wash my feet?” (13:6)
Foot washing was a cultural practice in that day, as households lacked plumbing and running water. Wealthy citizens of towns and villages bathed in public baths, and after walking home on dusty streets, were met by a household servant who washed their feet in a basin of water and dried them with a towel. Washing feet was the work of the lowest servant of a household.
Remember, as Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, among them was Judas, the one who would betray Him that night! It was one thing to stoop and wash the feet of His disciples; however, to wash the feet of an enemy was an act of love and grace! (13:2, 11)
Consider three spiritual lessons from today’s Scripture:
Salvation: The disciples believed Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God; however, not all believed. Judas rejected Jesus Christ and his lack of faith forever damned his unbelieving soul (13:10-11).
Sanctification: Jesus washing the feet of His disciples is a reminder that a believer needs daily cleaning from sin. The apostle John would write, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Service (13:1, 5, 12-16). To bear a servant’s towel requires at least three things in my estimation:
Persevering love: Jesus “loved his own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end [continually; to the uttermost]” (13:1).
Unpretentious humility: Jesus washed “the disciples’ feet [and] wiped them with the towel wherewith he was girded” (13:5). Paul exhorted believers in Philippi to follow Christ’s example of humility: “Let this mind [attitude] be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus… 7 [Who] took upon him the form of a servant [slave], and was made in the likeness of men [became man]” (Philippians 2:5, 7b).
Enduring commitment to follow Christ’s example. Jesus commanded His disciples: “If I then, yourLord and Master [teacher], have washed your feet; ye also ought [duty, obligation] to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (13:14-15).
The world will always make room for one more servant.
Will you be that servant?
Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith