Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 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 13:1-5
If you had only days to live, what would you do?
Days before dying on the cross, Jesus did the job of the lowest slave and got down to wash the feet of His disciples, including Judas who had been stealing from Him and plotting to murder Him!
In this example of Jesus, we learn three things about true love:
- Love is sometimes an emotion, but it’s always an action. Sometimes love is what you feel, but love is always what you do. We know that Jesus loves us because of the ways He serves us, culminating in the cross.
- Jesus does what no one else is willing to do. In this example, Jesus left heaven where he sat on a throne and was served by angels to come to the earth and sit on the floor to serve like a slave. In fact, a student would do for their teacher any task but one–washing their feet. In a day when travelers’ feet would be covered in dust and dung, the job of cleaning a guest’s feet was reserved for the lowest ranking slave in a household.
- Jesus loves His enemies. For us sinners, this is indeed good news. When we were an enemy of God, like Judas, Jesus loved us by serving us. Jesus got on the floor for Judas, but He got on the cross for us. Jesus poured out water for Judas, but He poured out His blood for us. Jesus cleansed part of Judas’ body, but Jesus cleanses all of our soul.
How has Jesus’ service changed your life? Who has Jesus brought into your life to serve you? Who has Jesus brought into your life for you to serve?