John 13:1-17

John 13:1-17 has Jesus with His disciples just before the Passover Feast.  He knew this would be His last Passover on earth, and the next days would be His final opportunity to pour Himself into those in His care.  Unlike any of us, Jesus knew exactly what would happen and what the timeline would be.  So how does He choose to use His final days and precious moments.  Doing what He has been doing up to that point.  He doesn’t change a thing.  “Having loved his dear companions, he continued to love them right to the end”.

So what would change in your world if you knew you would be dying and no longer with the people in your patch in a few days?  My guess is we would be scrambling to change some things and tidy up things we had been putting off.  But not Jesus.  He knew God was in control and that His job was to love people and serve God.  So He kept doing that.  He brings His disciples together for one last supper.  And then what He does catches them off guard.  “So he got up from the supper table, set aside his robe, and put on an apron. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with his apron”.

Have you ever had your feet washed by anyone?  It is a powerful experience.  But not nearly as powerful as washing someone else’s feet.  I’ve done it on a few occasions as part of a meaningful interaction, and the result is amazing.  Jesus didn’t wash them because He felt sorry that they were dirty.  He did it to show the power of a leader serving.  When Peter resisted, Jesus said “If I don’t wash you, you can’t be part of what I’m doing”.  It wasn’t optional.  It was part of the lesson Jesus was teaching.  “My concern, you understand, is holiness, not hygiene”.

Jesus was setting an example for us – to love and serve each other.  And for leaders, it is a key lesson.  Leaders are servants first.  They serve those that follow them.  Jesus did that here.  “So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do”.  Jesus tells us to do the same.  He wants us to serve each other.  “If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it–and live a blessed life”.

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