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JOHN 13

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by Pastor Don Nagy

 

For so many reasons, this is one of my favorite chapters in all of scripture. The disciple John is witness to an absolutely amazing event and he records it in great detail so that we not only see what Jesus did, but why He did it.

What fascinates me most is the order in which things unfold. John is very clear that when the disciples had sat down with Jesus for the meal that we now call "The Last Supper", the devil had already prompted Judas to betray Jesus.

 

"The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus." - John 13:2

 

He then tells us that Jesus, God in the flesh, got down on His hands and knees and began to wash the feet of His disciples. This was a job that was usually reserved for the lowest of the servants. Washing feet is a nasty job, especially when you are washing feet that have traveled dusty roads in sandals! But Jesus takes on the very nature of a servant and begins to wash their feet.

Peter is mortified that Jesus would do such a thing, and he protests. But Jesus basically tells Peter that if Peter doesn't let Jesus do this, Peter will have no part with Jesus. So, Peter says to Jesus "then wash not just my feet, but my hands and head as well." Jesus, whatever you have to do for me so that I can be with you. I am all in! Just do it.

 

"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." For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean." - John 13:10-11

 

Now John has already told us that Judas had been prompted to betray Jesus, and now he tells us that Jesus knew that Judas was going to do it. That is what makes verse 12 so amazing to me.

 

"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." - John 13:12

 

Don't you see? At some point during this meal Jesus knowingly washed the feet of His betrayer! Man, I wonder what that scene was like. Did Jesus look at Judas? Could Judas look at Jesus? Did Judas know that Jesus knew? Did they say anything?

To think that Jesus would be willing to humble himself to the point of washing dirty feet is mind blowing enough. But to think that Jesus would humble himself to the point of washing the feet of the one He knew would betray Him is incredibly challenging.

And if Jesus is willing to wash the feet of the one who would betray Him...is there anyone whose feet I am not called to wash?

 

 

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