Did Jesus Really Do That?
There were some things that Jesus did that were expected of the Messiah to come: heal the sick, open the eyes of the blind, proclaim truth, and raise the dead (Isaiah 61:1-3). Yet there were some things He did that just leave us speechless. Here is God’s son, who came from heaven, who dwelled in glory since before the world existed (John 17:5). We might be shocked when we read what takes place in John chapter 13.
Here we read about Jesus’ final message to the disciples before He is captured, accused, and condemned to death on the cross. Since these are His last moments with His friends, we can understand how very important they were! He gave them one of the most important lessons, but he did it through actions, not words:
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. (John 13:3-5)
Think about this: God’s one and only Son washing the feet of fishermen, tax collectors, and the like. Here are three important insights we glean from this:
No one is beyond serving.
Jesus knew that His disciples would eventually be looked upon by thousands as great leaders with great power (Acts 2:41). He knew that pride can easily creep into the hearts of men. He demonstrated in these final moments that no one should be beyond serving in the most humble way. The washing of feet was a job for the lowest of servants. It is why Peter at first refused to allow Jesus to do it. Yet Jesus said, “I have given you an example” (John 13:15).
We must act on what we know.
Knowing that we should embrace humility to serve others, and actually doing it are two different things. It’s down right difficult to step out and actually put the needs of others before our own. It’s a sacrifice! Think about this; Jesus ALSO washed Judas Iscariot’s feet (his betrayer). Yes, we are called not just to serve everyone, but also our worst enemies. Just knowing this Bible story isn’t enough for us. We must take action. Jesus said, “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (John 13:17). If we want the true blessing from God, we must act!
Jesus already served us; will we receive him?
I am always intrigued by Peter’s response when Jesus starts washing His friends’ feet. Everyone else complied and allowed Jesus to wash their feet, but not Peter. Peter spoke up…”You shall never wash my feet.” At first his refusal sounds honorable as in, “You are too great to wash my feet”. However, Peter’s refusal was actually rooted in pride. Peter didn’t want to receive what Jesus was giving. Peter thought he knew more than Jesus…once again (See Matthew 16:22). But Jesus made it clear, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”
What a reminder to all of us, that we must receive what Jesus has already done for us! Our good works are never enough. We must humble ourselves and allow Jesus not only to “wash our feet”, but to cleanse us from all our sin! It’s humbling. Sometimes it’s hard for us to go to Him. We want to resolve our issues on our own. We want to “clean” ourselves up. But that isn’t the way Jesus laid it out for us. We must see that He has already served us by going to the cross, dying for our sins, and rising again. Will you receive Him today again?