DayBreaks for 2/15/17: How Far Will He Go?
From the DayBreaks archive, 2007:
John 13:2-5 (NIV) – The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, 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.
It was the night of Passover – the holiest night of all for the Jews. In a small room, Jesus met with his disciples, knowing that later that night he would be betrayed by Judas and his horrific ordeal would begin. If I were in those circumstances, I’d be doing anything but sitting down to share a meal with friends. I’d be trying to run, to hide, to find some way out – but not Jesus. There was work to be done, and he was committed to seeing it through, but first, there were important things to pass along to his disciples.
And so it is that Jesus washes the feet of his disciples. No one else rose to do the job that belonged to the lowest slave/servant. So Jesus, as always, does what no one else wanted to do.
Peter, bless his heart, is humiliated when he realizes what Jesus is doing. He realizes that this is grossly out of place, improper and that someone else (perhaps himself?) should be the one doing the washing. Why? Because Peter knew that Jesus was the Holy One. Peter’s problem is that he felt that Jesus didn’t know how to act – that Jesus was doing something inappropriate and needed to be stopped. To wash someone’s feet, you have to kneel before them, and kneeling is a symbol of the act of worship. Throughout all the long ages of the Jewish people, it was the worshipper who kneels before the Worshipped One, but here, now, in the upper room…Peter knows it has been reversed – and in his opinion, it was wrong.
Peter’s problem, you see, is that he thought Jesus was “acting.” He wasn’t. He was totally and completely sincere. Luke 12:37 describes perhaps the most shocking scene in Scripture when it describes the feast of the Lamb in heaven: It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.
How would you have felt if you had been one of the disciples and had Jesus wash your feet? I cannot imagine that I would have reacted any differently than Peter did – I would have wanted to stop Jesus from washing my feet. But if I understand the passage in Luke, the day will come when Jesus will have us sit at the table and HE WILL SERVE US. I want to cry with Peter: “Never, Lord!”
How far Jesus was willing to go to redeem us?!?! He was willing to go as far as necessary!
PRAYER: I am humbled, Lord, that You should serve any of us – yet that is exactly what you did while here. It is incomprehensible to think that You should wash our feet, yet you have done so – washing us not with water, but with the blood of Christ. May we learn to serve one another in the sincere imitation of Jesus. Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.