This is not the time during Lent when I normally read these verses, but I just needed to think about this tonight. I needed my eyes on Jesus and I needed His agenda firmly in front of me…I thought I would share.
It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.
I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13:1-17 (NIV)
Jesus washing the disciples feet… He knows they won’t all be able to make it through what is about to come, they need His grace and mercy tonight. It’s going to be hard to stand beside Jesus soon. It gets that way for us sometimes, too. It gets difficult to trust the outcome when everything grows grim and dark. John is the only disciple who makes it to the cross…Jesus knows. Peter still doesn’t get it. Jesus even knows what Judas will do… And Judas… walking so closely with Jesus and still not getting it, with His mind on earthly treasures, what must that have been like as Jesus kneeled to wash His feet… Was he past the point of conviction or was he simply satisfied to choose the world over his soul… Did Judas just not even realize he was walking with the Son of God? Watching miracle after miracle, or was he even paying attention? Maybe he was giving glory to someone or something else for all he was seeing. It’s not hard to believe, do we do that? God moves a mighty mountain, God heals, brings us through a trial, opens a door for us, closes a door for us, sends us help, answers our prayer, do we praise Him? Do we know where our help comes from? Do we give glory to God. Or do we pat ourselves on the back? Do we chalk it up to happenstance or our own abilities? No one thinks they could ever be anything like Judas. What? But we all have our moments. Maybe we don’t go as far as he did. But we should remember we are not better than Jesus, and just like the enemy tempted and tried to sift Jesus, he will tempt and sift us, too. Doesn’t that make you want to walk a little closer to Jesus.? That should shake us all up…I hear people say Jesus needed Judas to get to the cross. Something like, your enemies are part of the plan. Maybe. But I’m pretty sure Judas is just another example of God using evil for good. Because Jesus was going to the cross regardless. And, in my opinion, eventually, the soldiers would have found Jesus. I don’t believe God’s redemptive plan for all of humanity hinged on Judas being some kind of puppet. We all get to make the decision. Judas didn’t choose Jesus.
Jesus First. Others Second. Ourselves Last. Crucify Pride. Crucify your agenda. Judas didn’t.
And Jesus still washes Judas’ feet. Jesus still loves Judas… But I can’t imagine how Jesus washed Judas’ feet. His grace and mercy is too much for my human mind to fathom… Jesus has a servants heart in a royal body… The King of Kings and Lord of Lords says wash your enemies feet… He didn’t just talk the talk… When He said Love was the greatest commandment, the Savior of the world meant it…
“Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for your sacrifice, thank you for the gift of wisdom. Thank you for allowing us to reflect back on your earthly walk. It’s a beautiful blessing to walk with you and read about your life. It’s insightful to read about Judas and his failures, even though it’s heartbreaking to think he walked so closely and somehow still did not choose you. Please Lord, help us be strong when the enemy sifts us, may we always keep your agenda above our own. Help us remember what a sacrifice you made for us all. Help us love our enemies, and help us keep our eyes on You. ”
In Jesus Name,