”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. 2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 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. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” 9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” 10 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.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. 12 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. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” John 13.1-17
[Bible Gateway has an awesome audio reading of the Scripture. I encourage you to listen to John 13, 18-19 today through this link — https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/niv/John.13.]
So much is packed inside this lesson of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. Judas Iscariot was still among the twelve at this point, he would soon leave to betray Jesus. So there were at least twelve men in the room with Jesus. He washed each of their feet.
I’ve never thought about the amount of time Jesus spent washing the feet of his disciples. If there were twelve disciples, and he spent three to five minutes on each, which might be a little long, this means he spent from thirty minutes to an hour on this exercise. It was more than enough time for the disciples to watch and observe what their Master and Lord was doing. Jesus is a masterful teacher, he not only demonstrates his love but explains it as well.
That was Thursday night of Holy Week and today is Good Friday. Jesus went from showing humility by serving his disciples to dying humbly upon a cross. As John 19 tells us, “So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.”
Jesus later died upon the cross, beaten and bruised, but not a bone broken. He fulfilled the Scriptures and gave his life for the sins of many.
But it’s not simply enough to hear about what Jesus did, we are given the opportunity to hear, yes, but also to respond. To receive his sacrifice into our lives, to believe that he died for us, to trust him as our Lord and Messiah. Each Holy Week that passes makes me more grateful for what Jesus did for humanity, it also makes me eager to be with him one day and to see him face to face.
Have you trusted Christ as Lord? Have you received and do you appreciate his sacrifice so that you might have life? Turn to the Lord, read and reread the Easter story, give thanks for what God has done and allow his love to lift you up and make you whole.
“O Lord God, you are faithful. This Good Friday is a hard day for the Son of God. For two thousand years ago you gave up your life for us. You humbled yourself upon the cross. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your power and love. Help me represent you in all things, by loving, serving and telling others about your sacrifice and death. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen