As we continue on our journey towards Good Friday and Easter, I want to turn our attention to the Last Supper. During this Passover ritual, laden with symbolism, Jesus suddenly interrupts the progress of the meal. This is how John describes this peculiar scene.....
"During the supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him." John 13:2-5
What a strange way for the guest of honor to act during the final meal with his friends. What kind of behavior is this from someone who called himself the Son of God? In those days, foot washing was considered so degrading that a master could not require it of a Jewish slave. However, with this one act, Jesus symbolically overturned the whole social order. Hardly comprehending what was happening, even his own disciples were horrified by his behavior.
Jesus asked his followers to do three things to remember him. He asked us to baptize others, just as he had been baptized by John. He asked us to remember the meal he shared that evening with the disciples. Finally, he asked us to wash one another's feet. The church has always honored two of those commands. But today, the third command of foot washing is practiced by only a handful of denominations. For the rest of us, this act of humility seems primitive, rural and unsophisticated. There is some debate whether Jesus intended this command only for the twelve disciples or for all of us. Although, even the twelve who witnessed this command first-hand, struggled to follow it.
In foot washing, the disciples had seen a living example of how Jesus wanted them to portray who he was and what he stood for.....a humble servant who just happened to be the Son of God. Who's feet is Jesus calling you to wash? Could extending an invitation to our Easter Service be considered an act of foot washing?
Don't forget to join us at 6:30pm for our Good Friday service and Sunday at 10:00am for our Easter gathering.
In His Grip.