John’s story of the last supper is one of the most amazing stories of God’s grace and the life-example of Jesus in all of Scripture. Anyone who professes to be a Jesus-follower must understand and follow the Lord’s example in how Jesus treats Judas…
2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus 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!”
10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
I am all amazed to read and re-read this story, because it puts feet to the teaching of Jesus that he came NOT to judge the world, but to save the world. We don’t save the world through judgement and finger-pointing and superiority. We change the world through love and grace and we let God convict and deal with the darkness of people through his Holy Spirit.
Remember: we are not new creations because other humans judged us. We are new creations because the Holy Spirit transformed us.
Jesus’ example in the last supper is through the powerful servanthood of washing his disciples’ feet. Most of us know that part of the story. Look closely, though. All of the disciples. Judas, who had been stealing from the money bag and plotting to betray Jesus – Judas, who was already under the influence and prompting of the devil – was at the table.
Jesus washed Judas’ feet on the night that he betrayed Jesus.
Talk about turning the other cheek. Jesus showed grace and love to the person who he knew would leave the dinner to go and sell him out. Judas’ sin was what we would classify as one of the worst sins of anyone in all of history. His name is associated forever with betrayal and infidelity.
And Jesus washed his feet.
Jesus cares for the worst offender. He shows mercy to those who make themselves to be his enemies. He even asks the Father to forgive them as he hangs on the cross.
As a Jesus follower, washing the feet of my persecutors is the farthest thing from my mind, yet it is the example of my Lord.
Holy Spirit, change my heart and my life…