As we continue in anticipation of the upcoming Easter season I wonder if the thought of serving came to mind? On the way to the cross there were some things that had to be planned and prepared for. One was the Passover Feast. Who is doing the behind the scene service so that things are ready? Who is serving you? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
In the New Testament the Passover Feast received a new name, The Last Supper. This would be the last meal Jesus would have with his disciples before he surrendered to the authorities. As with any meal there were preparations to be made.
We touched on this last week; we need to prepare for things before they arrive. How have our preparations been going? I like to use a check list when I am planning an event. I try to remember everything but some things slip through the cracks. Sometimes the additions to the list are greater than the list we started with? That can be overwhelming, but that is a topic for another day.
As they came together to celebrate the Passover feast the disciples did not quite understand that this would be the Last Supper. They were preoccupied with some conversations of their own. As they gathered around the table the discussion topic was which one of them was greater, which one would sit in the seat of honor when the Kingdom of God was put in place?
As the disciples debated their standing before God, there was work to be done.
John 13:4-5; So he (Jesus) got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.
I am sure you recall the familiar refrain; “wash your hands, it’s time for dinner”. Well in biblical times not only your hands but your feet needed to be washed. It was customary to have a servant available to handle the task. We have come to understand that the disciples would rotate the task between themselves when they came together for the evening meal, but not this time. They were so caught up in who was first that they overlooked the customary task of foot washing.
Jesus took the task to hand and started washing their feet. Do you think the room got quiet? Do you think their attention shifted for themselves to Jesus? I think we all have been guilty of overlooking a basic task, preoccupied with a selfish thought.
I think about the weight on Christ’s shoulders, he knew the events that would unfold later that night. He knew what the next day would hold for him. Yet he didn’t command someone else to do it, He simply got up and did what needed to be done. He demonstrated what a true servant does.
Did he even wash the feet of Judas? Knowing he was the one who would betray him?
Jesus came to Peter and the discussion went something like this.
John 13:6-10; When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”
“No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”
Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”
Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”
Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.”
There is a physical and spiritual meaning to Christ’s actions. Your feet are dirty and they need to be washed. Also, your soul is dirty and needs to be cleansed. Christ has set an example. What does that mean? On one hand it means do the task that needs to be done, nothing is beneath you. On the other hand, there is a symbolic nature to the actions of Jesus. Through His sacrifice our souls are washed clean; not only once but continually.
John 13;12-15; After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.
Do we understand? Christ has set an example, forgive each other, and serve each other. Not just the easy jobs, the dirty ones also. Not only that but, we who are saved need to continue to be cleansed because we continue to sin. Without the cleansing blood of Christ we have no part in Him. Only by humbly admitting our inabilities and allowing Christ to forgive us do we have a place with Him.
We don’t need to go too far to find dirty feet; Stained and bruised from the road of life. We need to walk alongside each other, helping deal with the choices and decisions that have separated us from Christ. We need to be ready to meet people where they are, humble ourselves and take on the lowly, messy task of lifting someone up and cleaning them off.
John 13:17; Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.
No one is greater than any other. No master is greater than his servant. There is serving to be done. Now we know and we will be blessed if we do.