Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. John 13:1-5(NLT)
If you’re hard-wired like me you almost can’t stop reading this account until you get to Peter refusing to have his feet washed. After all, that’s the main point, isn’t it? Isn’t it always all about us, and how we react to God? Well, in a way…but not so much that our actions become the focus. That is why I stopped crossing this street in the middle.
Much of the Gospel story is cast in cause and effect; the washing of the disciples’ feet is no exception. Notice that John records the effects in this “So” and “Then” mode of the storyteller:
So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. John 13:4-5(NLT)
Those are effects…what’s the cause? Back up to verse 2:
…the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.
The Gospel writer explained what happened at the table as one who was an insider. Jesus knew the enemy’s ways and recognized what was happening in Judas. He reacted by an act of service that helped the disciples know how to respond to the evil that was coming.
And isn’t that what it means to follow Jesus? Isn’t it our task to respond to the culture in which we find ourselves in the same manner and spirit of the One who is our Master?
This is our lesson for today… (and forever):
For those who would genuinely follow Jesus, the response to evil is to serve others…even in the face of betrayal