Monday, March 26, 2018

Jesus Washes His Disciples' Feet: A Lesson of Mutual Love & Esteem

Photo courtesy of Eileen DeCamp ~ Parkstein, Germany

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. . . Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God. John 13:1a,3 NIV

Jesus knew who He was, fulling comprehending the magnitude of His deity, God’s purposes, and the purpose of His life on earth as the Son of God and Man. I could stop reading at that verse and meditate on it until Christ returns, and still not grasp the fullness of it. 

But there is so much more here in this story of Jesus’ last hours before The Cross.

He was a man with no doubts about Himself. I’ve read entire books about achieving my authentic 
self. Many of us are taught to aim for self-realization, especially in some disciplines, such as psychology and counseling. The great aim of Jesus’ life was not self-realization, but the realization of 
God’s purposes.

For I am come down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. John 6:38 ASV

I’ve read John 13:1-17 over and over for the past month. I am astounded by our Lord’s great humility and His love. 

Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. John 13:1b

Jesus knew who would betray Him. That did not stop our Lord from washing Judas’ feet. He washed Judas’ feet, along with the other disciples’. Jesus loved him, also, even knowing. Knowing how He was loved greatly by the Father, and how the Father so loved the world, He loved generously and bestowed lavishly that great love on others. By His grace, by His mercy, through no merit of their own. 

So he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 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. John 13:4,5

He voluntarily did this menial task, an act of servitude and humility. When he had finished, he asked them if they understood what He had done for them.

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13:14-17

This principal is easier to understand than it is to implement in real life action. By His own admission, Jesus gave us an example. Washing the feet was an ordinary daily task for these men. It was a physical act, a drudgery. It was something that needed to be done. If Christ could do this, then who are we to disdain to do even lowly tasks for the good of someone and the glory of God. Jesus gave us a great lesson of mutual love and esteem.

I am reminded of the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) who showed compassion for the stranger who was naked and beaten in the ditch. He bandaged his wounds, took him to an inn, and paid for his care. (I might note that he didn’t just pray for him or hand him a gospel tract.) He endeavored to alleviate his suffering by concrete actions, and, according to Jesus, was a neighbor to the man.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Philippians 2:5-8 NIV

Thanks to Eileen DeCamp for her beautiful photography - dogwood tree

Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God. May God bless you with all spiritual blessings during this Holy Week 2018.

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