Jesus has a servant’s heart. He loves us despite of our faults. He displayed his love for the disciples when he performed the act of washing their feet. He knew that the time had come for him to leave them and return to his father. Before he leaves the disciples, he teaches them about love, humility and what it means to be a servant.
Foot washing was normally performed by slaves. I am pretty sure the disciples were trying to understand why Jesus would wash their feet. They considered Jesus to be their master and they probably felt washing feet was beneath him. This is the reason Peter did not want him to wash his feet. In John 13:8 Peter says, “Thou shalt never wash my feet.” After he says this Jesus replies, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.” When Jesus explained to Peter that he would not be a part of his kingdom, then Peter allowed him to wash his feet. It would have been considered more proper for the disciples to wash Jesus feet. Peter response to the foot washing showed his pride and lack of humility. Peter never had a problem speaking his mind, he just did not think before he spoke. He should have known from experience that Jesus always had a reason for everything he did. Jesus told them they will not understand everything he had taught them until he leaves them. Later after his death and resurrection he tells them in Acts 1:4, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Once they received the Holy Spirit they understand everything that Jesus had taught them.
Jesus washed their feet to show them how they should love one another and care for one another, like he loves and cares for them. He wants them to remember the brotherhood they have established. Therefore, he gave them a new commandment. In John 13:35 he says, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” The kingdom of God is built on love. Love for God, love for ourselves and love for one another. Jesus died on the cross because of love. In John 3:16 it says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” When he washed their feet, he was showing them how to love and serve each other. He showed them that everyone is important in the kingdom of God. The servant is just as important as the master and no task is beneath us, if it is done in love.
Jesus washed the feet of Judas, even though he knew he would betray him. He also knew Peter would deny him and the disciples would desert him. He showed them love even though they did not deserve his love. Jesus washing of the disciple’s feet shows us that God’s love is unconditional. He continues to show us love and forgive our sins, even though we do not deserve his love. The washing of their feet is also symbolic of Jesus washing away our sins. Washing away sin was the reason he died on the cross. The perfect lamb slaughtered for the sins of the world.
As we celebrate the Passover and the Cross let us reflect on the love God has for us. We should be thankful we have a savior who loves us so much. There is no other name we can be saved by, but the name of Jesus. Let us pick up our cross and follow him. Let us lay aside our selfish wants and desires and proclaim the kingdom of God. Let us learn to love like God loves us.
Happy Resurrection Day!!!