feet-washing.jpgJohn 13:1-17, 31b-35

1 Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, 4 got up from the table,  took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.” 12 After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord and you are right, for that is what I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16 Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

 31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33 Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, “Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

 Betrayal is not one of the situations in life that people welcome into their lives.  The reality is everyone has been betrayed at least once in life.  The reason nobody welcomes betrayal is because betrayal hurts.  Betrayal hurts because every relationship that you have you invest a portion of yourself in the relationship.  Your emotions, your time, your personality are all invested in even casual relationships.  If it is a close relationship you invest your trust, your hopes, your dreams and possibly your fears.  The closer the relationship the more you invest and even in the most shallow of relationships if the investment that you make in someone is squandered because of a betrayal of the boundaries of the relationship then you experience the pain of betrayal, the agony of trust being flushed down the drain and the misery of trying to determine if anyone else is going to betray you.  The forms of betrayal are infinitesimal but if I had to name of few gossip, slander, insults, the sharing of secrets, and malicious rumors.

It can all be summed up as backstabbing. Betrayals in any form, in any configuration or combination can cause irreparable discord between two people.

Jesus knows that he is going to be betrayed. In fact he identifies Judas as the one who will betray him. I can imagine that Jesus was already feeling the heart wrenching pain of a disciple who had spent three years with him as a student, disciple and close friend selling him out for 50 pieces of silver. 

 It seemed curious to me that our Messiah would continue to serve Judas.  This was an example of extreme loving kindness and even a model of how we are to treat those who betray us.  Jesus was a servant leader not only at the table but in washing all of the Disciple’s feet.  He was more connected to his towel than his title.  As the Savior of the World and their Rabi he had the right to request one of them to wash his feet.  Instead he humbled himself and served the disciples.  This was all for a purpose.  This was just a foreshadowing of the divine and eternal love that he would be sacrificing his life on the cross for your sins and mine.  It was an earthly example of how far we are to go in loving and serving others here on earth.

 Jesus knew that he had to give them the final exam before he started his journey to the cross.  Jesus knew the trials and tribulations that were before the disciples.  He knew about their confusion during the time of his death and resurrection.  Jesus knew that Peter was going to deny him three times before the rooster crowed.  Jesus knew that they disciples would feel like all hope was gone so Jesus wanted to bring completion to their three year boot camp by serving them in the way he wanted the Disciples to serve other people.

 And at the end of washing their feet, serving them at the table Jesus then sent Judas way to begin his traitorous mission.  This was important because without Judas Jesus could not take the journey to the cross. When we look at v31 “The Son of man is glorified”, we are seeing Jesus fully enter into his glorious work of redemption. This evidently relates to the glory which belongs to his suffering, sacrifice and seven last words.  

 Jesus had to be betrayed to fully enter the journey to the cross and conquer death, hell and the grave giving us victory over sin ruling over our lives. Basically the betrayal led Jesus to the place where he would offer up his life as a sacrifice and ultimately be raised in glory on the third day.