The Washing

The last hours of Jesus’ life. Part 1

I always find it interesting to hear what people would do if they knew they were going to die within hours. How would you spend your remaining hours? Who would you want to be with? Well, today we are going to look at what Jesus actually did in His last hours of life.

In John 13:1-17, gives us an account of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples. Why is this narrative of such importance? There are a few points that needs to be presented. First of all, everyone wore sandals at this time and the roads were very dusty. It was customary for a servant to wash the feet of the guests before they sat at the table, for most reclined back and feet were exposed. However, here is the Lord, taking on the job of a humble servant. Remarkably, none of the disciples offered to wash each other’s feet. But the Lord gives a beautiful picture of how to treat others. However, as He washed feet, some of the disciples thought it was beneath Jesus to perform such an act. Their indignant behavior reveal their own lack of humility. Jesus was showing them from Isaiah 53, what a suffering servant looks like. In Matthew 20:28, Jesus tells them, “even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Because of Peter’s indignation, Peter was going to refuse to allow Jesus to wash his feet. However, Jesus goes on further to explain a spiritual concept. In John 13:8, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” Then Peter wanted Jesus to wash him completely. Moreover, what Jesus was teaching is that salvation is a one-time washing. My sweet friend, your past, present, and future sins are forgiven when you surrender to Jesus. Unfortunately, as we walk in this sin-filled world, we need to go to the Father and receive a cleansing from Him. This world can soil us. Here, Jesus was giving a lesson in sanctification, which is a theological term, which means holiness, a purification. See, the Holy Spirit is continually washing us as we grow in Christ. He tells us that He washes us by the water of His Word in Ephesians 5.

It is also symbolic that Christ was doing the washing, for He is the only one who can cleanse you and me from sin. We followers of Christ, need to realize Jesus desires us to serve, not for means of salvation, but as a product of what He has already done in our hearts. We are to serve one another!

Interestingly, just hours before the cross, He is still teaching. And to think, it wasn’t that long ago, the disciples were quibbling among themselves to who is the greatest in front of Jesus, and now He is showing them without words.

A take away from this narrative is Jesus serving all the disciples, including Judas who was going to betray Him within minutes. He was very aware of Judas’ heart toward Him. Jesus didn’t treat Judas any different, a great lesson on the power of serving and the character of Christ.

What’s your character saying? Are you serving?


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