Especially the feet of one who was about to turn his back on you and give you up to be killed? Jesus did.
I’m reading the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ last full day before His crucifixion. You can see the anticipation of celebrating the Passover one more time with His disciples. But this time, taking it further. Explaining how He would fulfill all that it symbolized. You can see His deep love for them.
The meal and the room had been prepared. The sweet smell of Lamb mixed with fresh baked bread filled the air. The bitter herbs gave a little bite to the fragrance as they were broken. Everyone was settled around the table ready to eat. I bet their mouths were watering. Then Jesus did something unexpected.
John says that He “loved them to the end.” And knowing that Judas had already been led by Satan to betray Him, Jesus got up from the table. He poured water into a basin and began to wash their feet. All of their feet. Peter resisted at first. I’m sure it was a little uncomfortable. As weird as it feels to serve sometimes, often it’s even harder to be served. I wonder what happened when He came to Judas. Did they make eye contact? Was Judas nervous or smug? If we could see what was happening in that room would we sympathized with his internal struggle and route for him to change his mind or loathe him for his arrogant attitude? It didn’t matter. Jesus willingly and lovingly washed the feet of His betrayer along with the feet of every disciple in the room.
So what about us? The idea of washing feet makes me feel a little nauseous. The idea of washing the feet of my enemy makes my back stiffen in defiance. But then Jesus brings it home. As He washed their feet, so we should wash one another’s feet. As His disciples, we should serve one another. No one should feel superior to others, above serving them. The church, His church, should be about feet washing. The church, His church, should be about serving one another. The church, His church, should be about serving those inside and outside of the church. The church, His church, should be about serving the lost, the faithful, the hurting, the resentful, the prideful, the worshiper, the one who stands each Sunday with their arms folded, the giver, the taker, the stronger supporter, the one who talks against everything the church tries to do…everyone.
Really, we should be about love. Jesus’ motivation that night was clear – love. Start with John 13 today and read about Christ’s love for His disciples and for us.
It’s Easter week and I’m so giddy. Tomorrow night MeadowBrook with gather at 6pm to focus on the cross. Then Sunday, Sunday we celebrate His resurrection. What an awesome week.