Jesus was with his closest friends for the last time before his crucifixion in that Upper Room. This was the last moment he had to emphasize what he wanted them to know for sure and what he wanted them to do after he was gone.
“Jesus is fully conscious of the importance of the moment”.*
He knew the time had come for him to leave this earth and go to his Father. He knew Satan was about to enter and start the ball rolling to his betrayal and impending death yet, Jesus is completely aware of who he is.
If there were two things Jesus wanted to be engrained in their hearts, they were to love and serve.
So, he gets on his knees and does the job that the lowliest of all lowliest of the culture did: He washed their feet. He lowered himself as much as he could, except maybe on his birth day when He, God, became flesh in this messy world.
“The footwashing foreshadows the self-degradation of the hideous means of death. Jesus speaks in a way that gets Peter’s attention: ‘Unless I wash you, your have no part with me.’ (John 13:8) Jesus is emphatic that he must do the washing. Dirty feet are a symbol of the need for the deeper cleansing of the cross. The image of baptism merges with the image of the cross.”
“After Jesus had washed some of the other disciples’ feet, Peter remains true to his character to the end. In typical overreaction Peter displays his lack of understanding in his resistance and in his exuberance. Peter says to Jesus, ‘Then, Lord,…not just my feet but my hands and my head as well’ (John 13:9) In response to Peter Jesus essentially says, ‘Peter, it is not the washing of your body that is the issue here. It is the deeper washing of your guilt that I came to deal with. Only I can do that.’”
Now read that again and put your name in the place of Peter.
"Jesus is doing this out of love. And being a servant is the gift of love. “A servant focuses far more on the needs of other than on his or her own.” Jesus was showing his willingness to see the others’ needs. “Service requires self-sacrifice. Servant-hood is death to self. Being a servant is contrary to our nature, requiring personal crucifixion. Being a servant is the opposite of being full of self.”
Jesus was using this last moment to be an example of how he wanted his friends to be: to serve God and serve His people with love…to show our love for God by loving others with a servant heart. “He was conscious of the importance of the moment.”
Am I conscious of the importance of “the moments” in our lives for us to share our personal story of how our lives have been renewed because of what Jesus did for us on the cross? Am I conscious of the moments when we have opportunities to wash other peoples’ feet with a love?
That’s something to pray about and ponder as the cross draws nearer…
Lord, I want to love and serve each moment like you did.
*Quotes are taken from author Greg Ogden’s book Discipleship Essentials . I thought he shared it just.right.