Archive for July 9th, 2018

John 13:12-19

In John 13:12-19 Jesus has just finished up washing the feet of His disciples.  There’s been a little drama about it with Peter, but now Jesus is making it clear what has been done, why He did it, and what they should do as a result. “Then he said, “Do you understand what I have done to you”? Jesus’ entire life was a lesson and example to the disciples. Here He felt it was important to specifically draw attention to the lesson of what He had just done. The washing of their feet meant something and Jesus would not leave the understanding of that up to chance. What we do matters, and certainly what Jesus did was a critical teaching moment for the Twelve.

They knew who Jesus was, at least in their heads. “You address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so. That is what I am. 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”. But the lesson here is not about head knowledge, but one of attitude and action.  Every Christ Follower needs to show the same humble and sacrificial love to those in their patch.  A leader must serve those being led, not from the front of the line, but by humbly serving everyone in their care. This wasn’t a ceremony or special occasion that Jesus was showing here, but a way of living as servant leaders for all those in our patch.  We need to wash each other’s feet!

It wasn’t a mere suggestion.  Jesus states it as a command. “What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn’t give orders to the employer. If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life”.  Action is required here.  Anything we do for each another that washes away the grime of the world and the dust of defeat and discouragement is foot washing. It’s not the physical act, but the underlying action that is required.  The theory of being humble and being a servant isn’t worth very much. But the practice of being a servant pleases God, fulfills our calling, bringing blessing and happiness!

Jesus reveals that one will betray Him. “I’m not including all of you in this. I know precisely whom I’ve selected, so as not to interfere with the fulfillment of this Scripture: The one who ate bread at my table turned on his heel against me”. He waited to make that clear until the right time.  But now Jesus reveals the truth.  “I’m telling you all this ahead of time so that when it happens you will believe that I am who I say I am”. He knew it all along. Jesus told them this so the faithful disciples would remain confident in Him. Things are going to transition from a very cozy foot washing experience, to a very different time of trial and tribulation for the disciples.  Jesus is preparing them for what is coming, but also creating clarity that they will see the truth of Scripture happen before their eyes!

%d bloggers like this: