Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Jesus Washes His Disciples' Feet1It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.a]'>[a]
2The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"
7Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."
8"No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet."
Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me."
9"Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!"
10Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you." 11For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
12When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. 13"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Jesus Predicts His Betrayal18"I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture: 'He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.'b]'>[b]
19"I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He. 20I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me."
21After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, "I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me."
22His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, "Ask him which one he means."
25Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, "Lord, who is it?"
26Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. 27As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.
"What you are about to do, do quickly," Jesus told him, 28but no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. 29Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor. 30As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.
Jesus Predicts Peter's Denial31When he was gone, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him. 32If God is glorified in him,c]'>[c] God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.
33"My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.
34"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
36Simon Peter asked him, "Lord, where are you going?"
Jesus replied, "Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later."
37Peter asked, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you."
38Then Jesus answered, "Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!
Okay, I know this is a full chapter in one day. We are big people and can handle this. If it is easier; break down the chapter in three days. Look at the headings and you can see the breaks. I would suggest you read the entire chapter first, then do as you will. If you study in three day installments- you may be able to comprehend this better.
Jesus washes the feet. Let's look at this both literally and figuratively. These people walked in a semi-desert land with sandals. You know their feet looked and smelled funky! It was the lowest job a servant could have- to wash someones feet. We may not understand this today, but the disciples would have. Peter shows his human qualities. When Jesus came to wash his feet Peter said "No!" Jesus insisted, saying that if Peter did not allow this Jesus would have nothing to do with him. When Peter decided it was OK he asked Jesus to wash all of him. (Poor Peter-always trying to make Jesus fit Peter's pattern.)
Jesus tells him that is not needed. Only clean what needs cleaning. I read this and think that maybe we as the church try to clean things that are OK, but may not clean the parts of our world that need attention. I know it is easier to do somethings, brush hair instead of washing feet, but if the hair is already fixed-what have we done? Side note- if you want to really show humility today, wash the feet of someone who is driving you crazy.
As Jesus is doing this he then predicts Judas' betrayal. How wild must that have been? Jesus calls them out and then singles out poor Judas as the others were wondering who the betrayer was. We all betray Jesus from time to time. Does this mean it is alright? If Judas had not done what he did, could the Easter story have happened? Why didn't Jesus just say to Judas, "I know what you are thinking-here are the consequences of your actions if you follow through"?
Does God tell us what the long range effects of our actions? Re-read that part of John 13 (18-30.) This is one of those passages that we tend to overlook but that has big results.
Peter goes at it again. Peter is brash and self confident. He just saw Jesus call out Judas and needed to show that he was above such action. Alas, Jesus knew that Peter too would deny Him. Peter had missed the command that Jesus had just stated, (vs. 34-35.) Peter needed to be challenged- so Jesus told him he would deny Him three times.
1. Why did Peter refuse to let Jesus wash his feet? Do we ever do the same?
2. Why would Jesus call out Judas and forced his hand? Knowing this, how can we live our lives differently?
3. Do we use Jesus as an example of love? Do we deny him? How can these two questions help our lives and actions?
Prayer- Lord, Help us be in close communion with you always. Give us strength to live our lives to show your love. Thank you for loving us even when we are butt-heads. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.