1 Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. 2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, "Lord, are You washing my feet?" 7 Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this." 8 Peter said to Him, "You shall never wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me." 9 Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!" 10 Jesus said to him, "He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you." 11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, "You are not all clean." 12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
Questions to Consider:
Jesus washing the feet of His disciples is a picture of God bowing before humans doing the work of a servant. This confirms something that we should know; Jesus has not called us to do works that He was not willing to do. As Jesus washed the disciples feet He was demonstrating what a servant's heart looks like. It was a living example of His teaching. Matthew 20:25-28 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave--just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
Jesus washed the feet of the one who would betray Him. (The washing of the disciples' feet happens just prior to Judas leaving to sell Jesus out) Jesus washed the feet of the one who would deny knowing Him. In fact, Peter made a big scene when Jesus prepared to wash his feet. v.8 "You shall never wash my feet!" Peter declared. Jesus corrected Peter, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me." Once again we have a foreshadowing of things to come. The old Hymn asks the question, "What can wash away my sin?" And then the answer responds, "Nothing but the blood of Jesus!" We all need Jesus to wash us. It is the job of a servant, but became the mission of the King. According to the Apostle Paul, (Philippians 2:7,8) Jesus made Himself of no reputation, took the form of a bondservant, came in the likeness of man, and humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
When Jesus completed the task of washing the feet of His disciples, He asked them if they understood the implication of what He had done. No-one ventured an answer. Jesus filled the void of silence. v.14 "If I then, 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 should do as I have done to you."
What does this mean for us today? It means that we serve the needs of other people. We are not busybodies, but when we see a need or hear a call for help, we respond. In the words of Jesus, "If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them!"
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