Key Text: John 13:1-20
Just before the Passover feast Jesus wanted to practice what he was about to preach, in his saying, “Greater love has no one than this, that a person lay down their life for their friend”, Jn. 15:13. Jesus was showing them that the only way to grow sacrificial divine love, was to humbly serve each other. In this way, we begin to obey God, and make sacrifices in a real way. His love grew so great, that he was able to show it towards his enemies and die for them too! Romans 5:8. The devil had already prompted the heart of Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus. Satan suggests and motivates evil deeds, Ac. 5:3-4. Jesus had already told them in Jn. 6:7 that one of them was a devil. He had also told Peter about Satan using him too, Lk. 4:8. But why would Judas take such a bad attitude and act upon it, after Jesus had even washed his feet? Because God knew his heart’s problem of unbelief and it was so evil, he decided to fulfil prophetic judgment with it, Acts 1:25 & Psa. 109:6-9.
Jesus was very soon to demonstrate his humility, but he was at the same time fully aware of his power and deity. Yet in the face of the disciples concern for greatness and leadership, Jesus began to wash their feet, which is the attitude Paul instructs us all to have in Philippians 2:1-9. The shock from Peter while being approached by Jesus to wash his feet, stems from our inability to trust God’s principle of blessings from Him for the humble service we render. But the insistence of Jesus teaches Peter and us that all honest work for Christ is honorable and honored! Jesus dignified the work of slaves by taking the towel and water into his own hands. This sacrificial love Jesus was offering would lead to the cleansing of Peter’s sinful soul. So we all need this enacted in our own life. How do we submit to the cleansing of Christ? It has everything to do with the circumcision of Christ in baptism, Col. 2:11-12.
However, when Jesus stated that they were not all clean, he was thinking of Judas. When Jesus washed the feet of Judas, we may be sure, Jesus felt like he was wasting his time. But since Jesus was truly their Lord, he gave them the obligation of serving each other, and made it clear in his statement: “If I, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you should wash one another’s feet.” Jn. 13:14-15. Paul took this seriously and related it to the providing of help to needy widows in the early church, 1 Timothy 5:10. The promise of Jesus to bless us is real, John 13:17, If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. Do we take this seriously in the church today? Are we looking for dirty feet? Here is where Mat. 25:31-46 is fulfilled. Depending upon our faith or lack of it, this will judge us.This love of Jesus defeated any form of prejudice. Even when he knew Judas was evil, God is no respecter of persons‑Ac 10:34‑35.
This is true in Jesus by his wiping Judas’ feet. Jesus’ divine love helped him not only show himself to be better, but also to treat others better, we need the love of Jesus. To have this love, we must submit to His attitude of submission, that is humility, Mat. 18:3-4, a requirement for our salvation.