Holy Week 2012 – The Washing

The Washing
John 13:1-17

Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet

1 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

It still amazes me when I look at scripture and see the lengths to which Jesus would go to demonstrate the way he wants us to live. John 13:1-17 gives us another clear example of that life; the life of a servant.

In these verses we Jesus is providing a service that not too many us would be quick to do; washing the feet of his disciples. A task left to the lowest of servants, washing the feet was a humbling act, one not appropriate of the King of kings. The disciples are shocked, speechless, that is until Peter asked, “Will you wash my feet, too?”

This wasn’t a question of what was happening before him, this was a question of confusion and wonder. Why, Jesus, are you washing my feet?

Jesus knew what it meant to serve others. It’s why he came. It’s how he lived. It’s who he was. The Apostle Paul describes Jesus with words like servant, humble, obedient. Jesus was ready and willing to put aside his own wants, desires, pride, and Deity in order to demonstrate what it meant to love some completely.

Later at the table, Jesus asks his disciple if they understood what and why he did what he did. He explained that this was how leaders were to lead, by first serving those whom they were called to lead.

How are we leading? Whether it’s your position at work, within the church, or even in the family, are you leading by being a servant first? Or are you too busy to take the time to serve the ones you love? This week, take the time to lead like Christ. Watch for opportunities to serve those you lead and love.

Humble yourself and wash the feet of those God has entrusted to you.

– jay

*The Washing, is written as part of the week long Holy Week series called, A Walk Through Holy Week. Join us this week as Jay posts daily readings and thoughts the family of Harvest Church. http://www.HarvestChurchToday.org.

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