The disciples were all together celebrating the Passover feast while remembering the joy of God’s deliverance of His people from slavery in Egypt.
They believed that Jesus was the Messiah and argued about who would be best for the top jobs in His new government. When He spoke about his Kingdom, they naturally assumed it was to be established soon. To them it most likely meant Jesus would replace King Herod and overthrow their Roman oppressors just as in the days of the Exodus.
Only Jesus knew all that was to happen that evening.
He took a towel and basin and assumed a servant’s job by washing the feet of the disciples. He told them that as their leader, they must do as He did and wash one another’s feet. This action preceded a night of being betrayed, arrested, beaten, whipped and killed on a cross like a vile criminal.
Philippians 2:8 describes Him as, “being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross”. Jesus willingly chose to take upon Himself the shame, filth, and every evil and selfish action of mankind. He was humiliated for us out of love.
In response we need to humble ourselves in repentance by saying ‘I’m sorry’ to Jesus in order to receive the gift of liberty that He bought for us at such a great price.
Jesus already knew that Judas was going to betray Him that night, as we see in verse 11, “For He knew who would betray him.“, and verse 27 when He said to Judas, “What you do, do quickly”.
And yet He washed Judas’s feet along with the other disciples.
He was living out his own teaching, “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” Matthew 5:44.
The most painful wounds are often from those closest to us.
Judas committed a terrible crime and injustice to Jesus, who said that it would have been better for him if he had not been born, but that these things needed to happen.
Someone had to do it.
God used Judas’s betrayal to bring salvation to all of us sinners. We owe a great deal to Judas. While we prefer to identify with the eleven other disciples, Judas is the one who most accurately represents us. It was our sins as well that made Jesus’s death necessary.
Even so, He demonstrated that His love is given freely and not deserved by washing the feet of Judas.
He instructed us to do the same.
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